2014 Fall Graduate Colloquium Series: Steven Finkelstein, Ph.D.

DateOctober 1, 2014Time4:00 - 5:00 pm
LocationBaylor Sciences Building, Room E.125
Steven Finkelstein, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Astronomy
The University of Texas @ Austin

Beacons in the Dark: Searching for the First Galaxies to Exist in the Universe

The 25 year old Hubble Space Telescope, thanks to the 2009 servicing mission, has led a revolution in our understanding of galaxy formation and evolution in the distant universe. As the universe is expanding, light from all galaxies is redshifted, with very distant galaxies receding so quickly that infrared observations are needed to see their intrinsic ultraviolet and optical light. The CANDELS project (Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey), which is the largest observing program ever done with the Hubble, has observed a large swath of the night sky with deep near-infrared imaging. I have used these data to discover thousands of galaxies in the distant universe, including the most distant galaxy known. The abundances of these galaxies and the distributions of observable physical properties provide key constraints on galaxy evolution. I will discuss my current results with this dataset, including constraints on galaxy physical properties, star-formation efficiencies, and dark matter halo masses. The future is bright for this arena, as the James Webb Space Telescope (2018) and the Giant Magellan Telescope (2020) will soon team up to push these studies even further back, to a time only a few hundred million years from the Big Bang.

For more information, please contact: Dr. Anzhong Wang 254-710-2276

PublisherDepartment of Physics
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