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Simulations: A Necessarily Incomplete (And Completely Necessary) Lens on Galaxies in the Local Universe


About Event

Wed 22 May 2024


Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)
3700 San Martin Drive
Baltimore, MD 21218


3:00 PM - 4:00 PM EDT

Contact Information

Have questions? Please contact STScI.


We live inside a truly exciting astrophysical laboratory - the Milky Way galaxy - which provides a unique detailed perspective into the dynamics of stars and the physics of galaxy formation. Characterizing the stellar and dark matter content of the Milky Way and uncovering the Milky Way's formation history are key science goals of major ongoing and upcoming surveys from the ground (SDSS-V, LSST) and space (Gaia, Roman Galactic Plane Survey). And while the Milky Way serves as a guide for understanding galaxies in the nearby universe, observations of the Milky Way span a complex multi-dimensional space which necessitates sophisticated modeling to interpret. In fact, simulations serve as a crucial tool for bridging what we know about our home galaxy to what we hope to learn about galaxies in the local universe, not because they exactly replicate observations in detail, but because they provide a lens to assess the validity of our tools. By testing and verifying that our observational tools can recover known ground truths, simulations can be used to inform observational pursuits. In this talk, I will highlight some recent achievements from my group that utilize state-of-the-art simulations from the FIRE collaboration to provide insight into the Milky Way's content, formation, and evolution. In this way, I will demonstrate the essential value of leveraging simulations to gain deeper insight into observational datasets, both for the Milky Way and galaxies beyond.

Speaker: Sarah Loebman (University of California, Merced)


This colloquium is hosted by STScI and will be internal-only.

Please direct questions or comments to contact above. The 2024 Spring Colloquium Committee members are: Joel Green (STScI), Matilde Mingozzi (STScI), Nashwan Sabti (JHU), Kevin Schlaufman (JHU), Ethan Vishniac (JHU), John Wu (STScI).

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