Speaker: Raja GuhaThakurta, UCO/Lick Observatory, University of California Santa Cruz
Abstract: Our nearest large spiral galaxy neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy (M31), and its dwarf satellites, offer a panoramic yet detailed view of galaxy formation and evolution in our astronomical backyard. This system also serves as an excellent laboratory for the study of stellar populations because the stars are all practically at the same distance from us. I will present results from the SPLASH (Spectroscopic and Photometric Landscape of Andromeda's Stellar Halo) survey, the backbone of which was a large Keck DEIMOS spectroscopic survey of evolved stars in M31. Most of the SPLASH spectroscopic targets in M31's disk were selected from the PHAT (Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury) survey, a wide-field 6-filter Hubble Space Telescope mosaic image of a portion of the disk of M31. The talk will cover a range of science topics including: Local Group dynamics, structure/substructure and metallicity of M31's stellar halo, satellite tidal interactions, disk/halo interface, dynamical heating of the disk, and rare stellar populations.