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This Week at Physics

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Events on Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Astronomy Colloquium
Molecular gas, AGNs, star formation and galaxy evolution: a local look at galaxies undergoing the transition
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Katherine Alatalo, CALTECH
Abstract: Understanding the evolution of galaxies from starforming blue cloud objects into quiescent red sequence galaxies has been revolutionized by observations taken with the Herschel Space Observatory, ALMA, and CARMA, allowing astronomers to probe both the cold dust and cold ISM in a large set of galaxies, with unprecedented sensitivity. Observations of galaxies in molecular gas, cold dust and the cool ISM (such as the [C II] line) have given us an unprecedented view of the transition galaxies undergo to go from the blue starforming cloud to the red sequence. Specifically, I will discuss the role a compact group environment plays in this transition, as well as discuss the unusual case of NGC1266, a local S0 galaxy that is expelling its interstellar medium at a rate of 50 Msuns/yr, over 100x the star formation rate. These example systems have the potential to provide local laboratories for understanding mechanisms that transition galaxies at higher redshift, and put the roles of AGNs and mild interactions into the larger context of galaxy evolution.
Host: Prof Christy Tremonti
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