Seminars in 2023


Prof. Daniel Schaerer/ Prof. Andreas Zezas/ Dr. Konstantinos Kovlakas.

Green Pea and Bluberry galaxies meeting

The group of Dr. Jiri Svoboda is organizing a meeting with a focus on Green-Pea and Blueberry galaxies. These are low-redshift and local Universe dwarf, compact, and highly star-forming galaxies with unique properties while they are considered to be the best local analogs of early Universe galaxies. Three general talks will be given during the morning session of the seminar by Prof. Daniel Schaerer, Prof. Andreas Zezas, and Dr. Konstantinos Kovlakas. >> 10:00 -- 10:45: Daniel Schaerer, University of Geneva: "Insights on the Lyman continuum escape and the hardness of the ionizing spectra of compact star-forming galaxies". >> 10:45 – 11:30: Andreas Zezas, University of Crete: "The X-ray emission of galaxies in the context of their stellar populations". >> 11:30 -- 12:15: Konstantinos Kovlakas, Institute of Space Sciences/Barcelona: "Theoretical X-ray scaling relations and constraints on the X-ray output of distant galaxies".


Michal Bílek

What is the origin of the different kinematic morphologies of early-type galaxies?

Early-type galaxies (i.e. elliptical and lenticular) are divided into slow and fast rotators according to the appearance of their maps of line-of-sight velocity. Fast rotators show clear ordered rotation, while slow are supported mostly by velocity dispersion. I will speak about our work on investigation of the origin of this diversity. Inspired by cosmological simulations, we assumed that galaxies first form as fast rotators and then mergers transform some of them to slow rotators. We investigated the correlations of a measure of rotational support with various properties of galaxies that are sensitive to mergers. These include stellar ages, the presence of tidal features, and kinematically distinct cores. Each of these parameters is sensitive to a different type of merger and has a different lifetime. The found correlations, or their lack, together with observations of high-redshift universe, are explained the easiest, if the rotation support of early-type galaxies was decreased by multiple minor wet mergers more than 10 Gyr ago.


Sergey Popov

Magnetic field evolution of neutron stars: are there magnetars in binary systems?

In the talk I briefly discuss the present day view on the magnetic field evolution of neutron stars and its main observational appearance. Then, I focus on the possibility to find magnetars in binary systems of different kind. Possible candidates include accreting neutron stars (in particular, ultra luminous X-ray sources), gamma-ray sources, and fast radio bursts. I present a scenario in which the existence of a highly magnetized neutron star in a high-mass X-ray binary is possible at an age of a few million years.


Dr. Paolo Serra

The MeerKAT Fornax Survey: ubiquitous HI tails and clouds in the Fornax cluster

I will show first science results from the MeerKAT Fornax Survey. Our goal is to perform a detailed study of the nearby Fornax galaxy cluster in order to understand how galaxies lose their cold gas and stop forming stars in low-mass clusters (Mvir < 1e+14 Msun). We are doing so through very deep (down to ~1e+18/cm^2) and high resolution (up to ~ 1kpc and 1 km/s) MeerKAT observations of HI gas in a 1x2 Mpc^2 region centred on Fornax. Our survey started in October 2020 and is now 50% complete. These first data focus on the central region of the Fornax cluster and reveal for the first time the ubiquitous presence of tails and clouds of HI. Some of the HI is clearly being removed from Fornax galaxies as they interact with one another, with the intra-cluster medium and/or with the large-scale gravitational potential. I will present a sample of galaxies with long, one-sided, star-less HI tails (of which only one was previously known) radially oriented within the cluster and with measurable internal velocity gradients. The properties of these tails represent the first unambiguous evidence of ram pressure shaping the distribution of HI in the Fornax cluster. I will also discuss additional results on the HI mass function and the HI content of dwarf galaxies in Fornax.


Prof. Jin Koda

Molecular cloud evolution as the first step for star formation and galaxy evolution

Molecular gas and clouds host virtually all star formation, and therefore, their formation and evolution are the first step leading to star formation and galaxy evolution. On the basis of broad observational data, I will discuss how molecular gas and clouds evolve in the Milky Way and nearby spiral galaxies. In particular, I will argue for a long cloud lifetime (>~100 Myr), as opposed to the recently-suggested short lifetime (<~10-30 Myr). Simply put, we see molecular gas but don't see much atomic gas within galactic disks, even in the inter-arm regions, and thus the gas stays molecular. In this picture, star formation does not occur at the onset of gravitational collapse from atomic gas to molecular clouds, but is triggered in the long-existing molecular clouds. This view contradicts the traditional picture of the spiral density-wave theory, which predicts a rapid gas phase transition -- from atomic to molecular and then to atomic -- through spiral arm passage. Instead, the gas evolves through the coagulation and fragmentation of molecular clouds. The consequences of this revised view of cloud evolution, star formation, and galaxy evolution will be outlined. Meeting ID: 85610437259 Password: 8810 Scheduled time: 18/05/2023 14:00 CEST (12:00 UTC) Duration: 120 minutes Meeting link:


Josefa Grossschedl

Revealing the star formation history of nearby star-forming regions in 3D space and time with Gaia

With the help of Gaia, we have started to gain a better understanding of our Solar Neighbourhood, especially with regards to the 3D spatial structure of the local interstellar medium (ISM) and the distribution of young stars. However, to better understand the origin and evolution of the nearby young structures, we also need to measure their 3D space motions, allowing us to trace-back the orbits of stellar clusters and molecular clouds, to study the orbits of the subregions in our Galaxy and also the relative space motions within the complexes. I will present a method to study the 3D properties of nearby star-forming regions and to analyze the 6D phase-space of the individual compounds (clusters & clouds), using Gaia DR3 and ancillary radial velocity (RV) data. This approach allows us to reconstruct their formation history, including past feedback processes. In particular, I will present recent results for the star-forming complexes Orion and Scorpio-Centaurus, and how massive stellar feedback can be quantified in these regions. This further allows us to study the interaction of stars with the ISM, and the formation and evolution of feedback driven bubbles (e.g., Orion-Eridanus-Superbubble or Local Bubble). With this information, the star-forming regions can be put into context with local large scale structures (e.g., Radcliffe Wave, Split or Gould Belt?), and local phenomena can be compared to features in external galaxies, where the "birds-eye-view" (e.g., from JWST imaging) potentially allows an improved understanding of our own Galaxy’s structure.

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