Talks & Events
Astro Tuesday Series
Astro Tuesday Series:
Current & Future Astro Tuesday Series
Past Astro Tuesday Series
Feedback from massive stars, integral field spectroscopy, and serendipitous discoveries
Feedback from massive stars plays a central role in shaping the evolution of entire galaxies. Despite a solid qualitative understanding of feedback, our quantitative knowledge remains poor. Currently, only a small number of HII regions have adequate observational information on both gas and stars needed for detailed feedback studies. However, the growing availability of integral field unit (IFU) instruments and the novel analysis techniques we've developed for them, now allow the study of stellar feedback in orders-of-magnitude more HII regions than previously possible, i.e. the numbers needed to fully quantify the effects of feedback over a large dynamic range of stellar and interstellar medium properties, and to connect the results to state-of-the-art star formation and galaxy evolution models.
I will discuss the first results of resolved stellar feedback studies from a MUSE IFU legacy dataset covering the nearby Sculptor galaxy NGC 300, as well as results from MUSE observations of HII regions in the Magellanic Clouds and the Milky Way. By merging the MUSE NGC 300 data with HST resolved stellar photometry, I demonstrate that ground-based IFU data of nearby galaxies is ideally suited to quantify feedback from massive stars all the way down to individual cloud scales. Moreover, I will discuss the MUSE observations in terms of a pathfinder to ongoing and next-generation IFU nearby galaxy surveys and instruments such as the Local Volume Mapper and JWST. Finally, I will highlight serendipitous discoveries only possible thanks to the 3D nature of IFU data.
Toward a More Complete Picture of Planet Formation
The studies of planet formation have long been dominated by theoretical work because observing planets in formation has been challenging. The situation is, however, gradually changing. Thanks to increasingly powerful observing facilities and techniques, we are now able to peer into the birthplaces of planets - protoplanetary disks, routinely finding signposts of ongoing planet formation. I will introduce state-of-the-art observations of protoplanetary disks, made available by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array and ground-based optical/IR telescopes equipped with adaptive optics. I will discuss how planet formation theories are being tested with and improved by observational data in conjunction with supercomputer simulations. I will conclude with a discussion of prospects for future directions, focusing on how we can connect studies of protoplanetary disks to those of solar and extrasolar planetary systems and develop a more complete picture of planet formation.