Unraveling the Chemical Evolution of Galaxies Beyond the Milky Way with Integrated Light Spectroscopy of Globular Clusters

Charli Sakari (University of Washington)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2017-10-30 15:00 - 16:15
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 

A universal understanding of galaxy formation requires observations of galaxies beyond the Milky Way. Although individual stars in distant galaxies are too faint for high-resolution spectroscopy, globular clusters (GCs) can be studied through integrated light (IL) s pectroscopy. Since GCs are expected to trace the properties of their host galaxies, distant clusters can be utilized in lieu of resolved stars to investigate the assembly histories of their hosts. This talk 1.) reviews how chemical abundances of individual stars trace the evolution of the Milky Way over cosmic time, 2.) investigates the chemical evolution and assembly history of M31 based on IL observations of GCs (from the Hobby-Eberly Telescope and the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment, or APOGEE, respectively) and 3.) discusses the current limitations of IL spectroscopy, particularly in light of multiple populations within GCs. Ultimately, these studies have provided a characterization of M31’s assembly history that cannot currently be obtained from field stars. Looking forward, high-resolution IL spectroscopy will be a powerful tool for investigating galactic archaeology beyond the Milky Way.

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