Presentation Archive

The Next Frontier of Extragalactic Archaeology

Alexa Villaume (Waterloo CA)

May 26, 2022

Abstract: Stellar populations provide one of the only available windows into the evolutionary histories of galaxies — particularly at early epochs that are not directly observable. The stellar populations of the Milky Way galaxy and Local Group galaxies are relatively easily studied and understood because we can resolve and directly observe the individual stars. However, we must rely on population synthesis models to interpret the integrated light observations for more distant galaxies. These kinds of measurements have proven to be extraordinarily powerful but have also highlighted significant gaps in our knowledge of galaxy evolution. I will detail the phenomenological advancements I have made in this respect by applying a new generation of population synthesis models, as well as a novel statistical technique, to two galaxies at the opposite extremes of galaxy evolution: the ultra-diffuse galaxy, Dragonfly 44, and the massive early-type galaxy, M87. I will also discuss with how these techniques can be further developed to take a transformative step towards understanding galaxy formation using next-generation telescope facilities.