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Finding the Chemistry and Dynamics of Satellites of the Andromeda Galaxy

Semester: Summer 2023


Presentation description

Galaxies are immense stellar structures across the Universe composed of billions of stars, hot gas and dust, sustaining themselves through the force of gravity. Galaxies of a great mass have a strong gravitational force that attracts galaxies smaller galaxies, which proceed to orbit the bigger one, a process known as satellite galaxy formation. In this research we present an analysis of the center of the dwarf satellite galaxies M32 and M110 which orbit the Andromeda galaxy. M32 is a compact elliptical galaxy with a young, chemically rich population of stars in its nucleus, while M110 is a peculiar elliptical galaxy with a young bright blue, low mass (2% of the total galaxy's mass), metal poor stellar in the center. We have high resolution, near infrared, integrated light spectra of both galaxies from the APOGEE survey. We utilize A-LIST, an empirical library of spectral templates made from observed stars in the Milky Way that represent a stellar population's chemical composition and age. By fitting our custom templates to our data, we determine the chemical composition, age, and stellar kinematics in the central region of each galaxy. Our findings are compared to the values found in the literature. This spectral modeling technique is highly useful for deriving the ages and chemical makeup of galaxies, particularly in understanding distant dwarf galaxies. Resolving spectral properties from these galaxies will help our further comprehension of the chemical formation and physical aspects of our near Universe.

Presenter Name: Alondra Álvarez

Presentation Type: Poster
Presentation Format: In Person
Presentation #51
College: Science
School / Department: Physics & Astronomy
Research Mentor: Gail Zasowski
Date | Time: Thursday, Aug 3rd | 9:00 AM