AGM and Giant Waves Crossing the Milky Way

This December meeting is our Annual General Meeting. You can watch online via Facebook and YouTube.

Our Galaxy, the Milky Way, is a benchmark for understanding disc galaxies.
It is the only galaxy whose formation history can be studied using the full distribution of stars, from white dwarfs to supergiants. The oldest components provide unique insight into how galaxies form and evolve over billions of years. This is a veritable golden age for galactic archaeology with many large surveys now under way to map both chemistry and motions for stars in the Galaxy. Detailed 6D "phase space" information combined with chemistry for millions of stars heralds a new era in how we slice up the Galactic disc. This has already enabled the most remarkable discovery to emerge from ESA's Gaia satellite — the “phase spiral”. This phenomenon, which was not foreseen, is direct evidence of giant waves crossing the disc. We discuss how these Galactic tsunami are generated and what they tell us about our history.
We review the main science goals of galactic archaeology, and look to what the future may hold. These studies will continue to play a fundamental role far into the future because there are measurements that can only be made in the near field and much of contemporary astrophysics depends on such observations.

BIO: Joss Hawthorn is one of Australia's leading astronomers with the rare distinction of having made important contributions to both astrophysics and technology. He was born in Kent, educated at an Oxford boarding school before going to university in Birmingham (BSc) and Sussex (PhD). In the period 1985-1993, Joss was an astrophysicist at the Institute for Astronomy in Hawaii and a Professor of Physics at Rice University Texas. In 1993, he moved to the Anglo-Australian Observatory, Sydney, eventually to become Head of the research and development team. Today, he is the Laureate Fellow Professor of The University of Sydney’s School of Physics, and Director of the Sydney Institute for Astronomy, co-Director of the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science, and Principal Investigator for the Sydney Astrophotonic Instrumentation Labs.


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Wednesday 02 Dec 2020

8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Online - YouTube



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