Physics Seminar - "Dynamics of the Galactic Bulge Stars: Uncovering the Structures of the Inner Galaxy"

Andrea Kunder, St. Martin's University

We live in the Milky Way Galaxy — a spiral Galaxy so large, it takes 100,000 years for light to travel from one side to the other.  This light can be captured by astronomers, such as myself, using various instruments mounted to telescopes, to study the matter and structure of the stars it comes from.  We see that our Galaxy is composed of stars that are not randomly assorted, instead, they display an elegant structure that shows both order and complexity.  Here I show how we are ordering the stars in the deep center of the Galaxy, with the goal of piecing together the formation history of the entire Milky Way Galaxy.  I show how we have recently discovered of a separate population of stars co-existing within the inner Galaxy, possibly being one of the oldest stellar populations of the Milky Way.  This “fossil” is one of the pieces of the Galactic jigsaw puzzle.  I will conclude by showing other pieces of the Galactic puzzle being put into its proper place thanks to SMU students working within the physics group.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 4:10pm to 5:30pm

Physics 123

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