Cambridge Astronomical Association
Cambridge Young Astronomers


Speaker Meeting

Black Holes and galaxies
Friday 19th November 2021
Start time : 20:00

Speaker : Joanna Piotrowska

The arrival of large, all-sky observing programmes made astronomers realise that not all galaxies in our Universe are actively star-forming. Instead, there exists a significant population of galaxies which are dormant and their emission is dominated by old stellar light.

As much as we understand how gravity forces dense gas to collapse to form new stars, there has been a lot of debate about what physical mechanisms could prevent that process. Is it stellar explosions? Or the internal structure of galaxies themselves? Or, maybe, black holes with masses exceeding a million of our own Suns are to blame?

In this talk I will discuss our current understanding of galaxy evolution, focusing on processes responsible for bringing star formation into a halt. By combining results from both cosmological simulations and observations I will make the case for a few mechanisms most likely responsible for forcing galaxies into their retirement.

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About our speaker:

Asia (Joanna) Piotrowska is a 3rd year PhD student at Cavendish Laboratory / Kavli Institute for Cosmology in Cambridge where she is working on galaxy evolution. Her research combines both observations and cosmological simulations, allowing her to better understand physical processes responsible for ceasing star formation in massive, local galaxies. Outside of her PhD focus Asia is passionate about science communication and is always excited to share cutting-edge research with a broader public.

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