Dr. Kristine Spekkens
Royal Military College and Queen’s University, Canada
November 22, 2018 – 03:00 pm – Woolnough Lecture Theatre – Geology Department – UWA campus.
The atomic gas (HI) content of nearby dwarf galaxies provides important insight into how galaxies of all masses form and evolve within the standard cold dark matter cosmology. In this talk, I will highlight some of my group’s recent efforts to use deep HI searches in nearby dwarfs as a cosmological probe. First, I’ll explain how the upper limits that we derive on the HI content of the faintest dwarf spheroidals may elucidate key dynamical properties of the Milky Way and its satellites. I’ll then discuss our efforts to extend these studies into other environments in the Local Volume, exploiting deep HI searches to discriminate bona-fide satellites from background sources in catalogs of low surface brightness detections around nearby galaxy hosts. I’ll finish by discussing how widefield HI surveys using SKA precursor facilities — which will start early science programs next year — will revolutionize this field, as well as enable the first statistical studies of the internal structure of nearby dwarfs to constrain the interplay between dark matter and baryons during cosmological galaxy formation.