Next Meeting Presentation

4 Aug. 2022 – Club Meeting Presentation
— Thursday night, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Note that there will be no July meeting or presentation. This free speaker presentation will be offered in-person at the UNC-Asheville Reuter Center and virtually online. Registration is not required; use this Zoom link to watch the presentation remotely.

An Astronomy Guest Speaker Series Event – a collaboration of the Astronomy Club of Asheville and UNC-Asheville

Image credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble

Forming the Brightest Galaxies in the Universe

– presented by
Desika Narayanan, Ph.D.
, Associate Professor in Astronomy at the University of Florida

25 years ago, using new far-infrared telescope facilities, observational astronomers discovered a new population of galaxies: the “submillimeter galaxy” population. Years of observational followup have determined that these galaxies live in the very early Universe (just 1-2 billion years after the Big Bang), and form stars at an astonishing ~1,000 suns per year: this is to be compared to our own Milky Way’s paltry ~1 sun per year! At the same time, over the last 25 years, theorists have scrambled to develop a theory for where these extreme galaxies come from. Are they major collisions between galaxies as their analogs are in the local Universe? Are they powered by supermassive black holes? Are exotic physics required to form these extraordinarily bright galaxies?
In this talk, Dr. Narayanan will go through the history of massive computer simulations and theoretical models, attempting to understand the origin of this most luminous, heavily star-forming galaxy population in the Universe, and end with directions forward that the newest observatories such as the James Webb Space Telescope can push us.