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The Next Frontier of Low-Mass Galaxy Formation

Satellites of the Milky Way (MW) have long provided stringent tests of cosmic reionization, cold dark matter, and the physics of galaxy formation on the smallest scales.  However, there is growing evidence that the MW satellites may not be broadly representative.  Compared to the MW, satellite systems throughout the local Universe show varying luminosity functions, stellar populations, quenching properties, and spatial configurations, often in excess of cosmic variance.  In this talk, I discuss ongoing efforts to expand our knowledge of low-mass galaxy formation beyond the confines of the MW halo.  Specifically, I describe how new understanding of our nearest neighbor M31 and its satellites raise questions about whether insights established in MW satellites are generally applicable to low-mass systems or stem from the specific accretion history of the MW.  I highlight a new Hubble Space Telescope Treasury program aimed at establishing the M31 ecosystem at the next frontier for low-mass galaxy studies.  I also preview the potential of the James Webb Space Telescope and next-generation space-based telescopes (e. g. Luvoir) for facilitating detailed studies of low-mass galaxies throughout the Local Volume.

Speaker: Dan Weisz, UC Berkeley

Thursday, 09/05/19


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LeConte Hall, Rm 1

UC Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720