University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Monday, April 22nd 2019
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Andrew Wetzel, UC Davis
Subject: Simulating the Milky Way and its Satellites

I will present the Latte suite of cosmological zoom-in baryonic simulations that model the formation of Milky Way-like galaxies at parsec-scale resolution, using the FIRE (Feedback in Realistic Environments) model for star formation and feedback. First I will discuss the formation of the Milky Way, including the origin of its thin+thick stellar disk morphology, new insights into the elemental abundances of its stellar populations, and connections to recent Gaia observations of the stellar halo. The Latte simulations also self-consistently resolve the formation of satellite dwarf galaxies around each Milky Way-like host. These low-mass galaxies have presented significant challenges to the cold dark matter model, but I will show progress in addressing the "missing satellites" and "too-big-to-fail" problems. Finally, I will discuss synthetic Milky Way surveys that we have created from the Latte simulations, which are publicly available to provide theoretical modeling insight for the era of Gaia.

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