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Astronomy Colloquium - "Using High-Cadence Synthetic Observations to Unlock a New Era in Astrophysics"

Event Type
Seminar/Symposium
Sponsor
Department of Astronomy
Virtual
Date
Dec 3, 2020   3:45 pm  
Speaker
Kirk Barrow, Kavli Institute, Stanford University
Contact
Rebecca Bare
E-Mail
rsbare@illinois.edu
Phone
217-265-8226
Views
11

As astronomers near the commissioning of the extremely large telescopes, the Rubin Observatory, as well as new space-based observatories like the Roman Space Telescope and JWST to peer more deeply into our Universe, our community is challenged to develop a theoretical and modeling framework to characterize and study what will be humanity's greatest astronomical discoveries. My research addresses this need by generating detailed, state-of-the-art synthetic observations from hydrodynamic cosmological simulations. By calculating all the processes that photons undergo as they travel across the Universe from the surface of a distant star to a telescope’s detector, my collaborators and I have been able to disentangle perplexing trends in observed galactic spectra as well as make predictions for what we might unveil in the near future. Topics we have investigated in prior work include massive black hole formation, the first stars and galaxies, and the intricate interplay between nebular emission lines and the escape fraction of ionizing radiation. Looking forward, I propose to create the largest and most detailed database of synthetic observational tools and predictions at a time that will come to define astronomy for generations.

 

Topic: UIUC Astronomy Colloquium

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