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Astronomy Colloquium
Studying the Evolution of Radio Galaxies With the VLA Sky Survey
Date: Thursday, November 30th
Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Yjan Gordon, UW-Madison
Abstract: Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are a key phase of galaxy of evolution, and understanding the AGN duty cycle is essential for comprehending the mechanisms that drive and regulate galaxy growth. Radio galaxies in particular are well suited to studying the evolution of AGN as the properties of the radio jets can allow for estimates of the age of the AGN. An effective way of studying large numbers of these objects is to use blind surveys of wide areas of the sky. One of the latest such projects, the Very Large Array Sky Survey (VLASS), is currently mapping >80% of the sky with the highest frequency (3GHz) and angular resolution (3'') of any near-all-sky radio survey to date. In this talk I will discuss the latest efforts with VLASS to identify radio-loud AGN at various stages of their evolution. In particular, the high resolution of VLASS is especially well suited to identifying compact radio galaxies, including young AGN that have recently been triggered. By investigating the host galaxies of young radio-loud AGN, we find that high levels of star formation are associated with the most compact radio jets, and I discuss the likely mechanisms driving this result. Finally, I consider some of the lessons learned from the early VLASS data, and directions moving forward into the era of the ngVLA and SKA.
Host: Ke Zhang
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