RASC Regular Meeting April 9, 2018, Galaxy mergers in the nearby Universe

RASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – IMAX Theatre
FREE and open to the public.

7:00 PM Meet and Greet
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Sara Ellison
Galaxy mergers in the nearby Universe

The Antennae Galaxies/NGC 4038-4039
NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration;
Acknowledgment: B. Whitmore (Space Telescope Science Institute)

Despite the emptiness of space, mergers between galaxies are surprisingly common.  Around 1% of galaxies in the nearby Universe are currently experiencing an interaction of some kind.  I will describe research that uses both observations and computer simulations to trace the dramatic effect of these interactions on a galaxy’s history: how the interaction can lead to massive bursts of star formation, alter the interstellar chemistry and even provide fuel for the central supermassive black hole.

 

 

Sara Ellison

Sara Ellison is a professor at the University of Victoria. Her main research interests can be divided into two basic categories: quasar absorption lines and galaxy evolution as a function of environment. The underlying theme of this research is to understand galaxy evolution through cosmic time, with a particular focus on chemical enrichment of the interstellar and intergalactic media.

Sara Ellison is very active in astronomy outreach activities. In addition she is an artist and competes in running races and triathlons!