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Weighing and Measuring the Milky Way & Other Galaxies
March 21, 201611:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT)

Weighing and Measuring the Milky Way & Other Galaxies


Robyn Sanderson (Columbia University)



Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics & Astronomy

College Station, Texas 77843

Event Details

Cosmological simulations make specific predictions for the shapes, masses, and substructure fraction in galactic dark matter halos that depend on the dark matter model assumed. Comparing these predictions to the observed structures of galaxies should therefore lead to constraints on the nature of dark matter, but observable dynamical tracers can be scarce in regions where the dark matter distribution is best able to discriminate between models. One such region is the outskirts of galaxies, where the influence of baryonic matter on the dark matter halo is limited and the effect of dark substructures most prominent. I demonstrate three ways that tidal streams, the remnants of disrupted satellite galaxies, can help characterize the dark matter distribution in the halos of the Milky Way and other galaxies, and thereby place constraints on the nature of dark matter.

Video Recording

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