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December 2, 201911:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT)

The Origin of Ultra-Diffuse Galaxies


Tim Carleton (University of Missouri)



Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics & Astronomy

College Station, Texas 77843

Event Details

Ever since the identification of a large population of UltraDiffuse Galaxies (UDGs) in the Coma Cluster, there has been renewed interest in the properties of low-surface brightness galaxies. Evidence from the abundance and morphologies of UDGs suggest that cluster environments play an important role in the evolution of these unique systems. Motivated by this evidence, I will present a model for the formation of UDGs through tidal heating of dwarf-elliptical galaxies in clusters. This model is able to reproduce many aspects of the observed UDG population, including the size distribution and the dependence of UDG abundance with cluster mass, assuming that UDGs fall into the cluster living in cored dark matter halos. However, this picture becomes more complicated when considering low-surface brightness galaxies in the field and high-surface brightness galaxies in clusters. I will discuss how observations of dynamics, stellar populations, and globular cluster systems of Ultra-Diffuse and non-Ultra Diffuse galaxies in clusters and the field can inform a more holistic understanding of dwarf galaxy structural evolution.

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