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Stellar populations in nearby galaxies

A stepping stone for understanding the evolution of stars, galaxies, and our universe

Luciana Bianchi

June 24, 2014, 12.00 am

SISSA – Room 128

Via Bonomea 265, Trieste

Studies of young stellar populations in local galaxies, spanning a variety of environments and physical conditions, reveal the modalities of the star-formation process and the co-evolution of massive stars and dust. Massive stars drive the dynamical and chemical evolution of their host galaxy. Mapped across large portions of galaxies, they provide a precise time and space tomography of the young stellar populations, because of their fast evolutionary time-scales, revealing how gas and dust condense to form stars, and how local star-bursts evolve and dissolve with time. Luciana Bianchi, from the Johns Hopkins University, will hold the next SISSA colloquium on June 24, 2014, at 12.00 am, room 128, on this topic.

The complementary capabilities of two recent space telescopes, GALEX and Hubble, have enabled substantial progress in this field. GALEX has provided unprecedented wide-field, sensitive views of young stellar populations across extended galaxies, has characterized star-formation down to very low levels, previously undetected, and measured the star-formation history of the universe up to redshift ~2. With Hubble, we are able to resolve the individual stellar constituents of nearby star-forming regions, and measure their physical parameters.

The ensemble of results from such studies informs new-generation stellar and galaxy evolution models, which in turn underpin our interpretation of the integrated light from galaxies in the distant, younger universe, ultimately to unravel its evolution.

Link to Luciana Bianchi bio at Johns Hopkins University website