Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Queen's University
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Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Departmental Colloquium - The Milky Way, Dark Matter, and Galactic Cannibalism

Heidi Newberg,

September 23rd, 2016
1:30 p.m. in Theatre A

Abstract:

Over the past twenty years, streams of stars that have been stripped by gravitational tidal forces from dwarf galaxies as they fall into the Milky Way have been discovered and characterized.  More tidal debris in the Milky Way stellar halo continues to be discovered.  These tidal streams are interesting as they trace some of the history of the formation of our own Milky Way galaxy, and have the potential to constrain the spatial density of dark matter in our own galaxy.  Recent work has shown that the infalling dwarf galaxies might excite wavelike substructure in the disk, and might even explain how spiral structure is maintained in galaxies.  After briefly reviewing the field, Newberg will describe her research group's efforts to find tidal debris, and to use that tidal debris to constrain the distribution of dark matter in the Galaxy.