Astronomy Journal Club

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Modeling Dust Evolution in Galaxy Simulations

Event Type
Department of Astronomy
134 Astronomy
wifi event
Apr 29, 2024   12:00 - 1:00 pm  
Dr. Caleb Choban
Daniel Franco

Interstellar dust grains play a prominent role in physical processes across astronomical scales (i.e., photoelectric heating, radiation pressure, H2 formation) and affect all astronomical observations to varying degrees by absorbing and scattering ultraviolet/optical light and emitting in the infrared. Despite this importance, our understanding of the dust life cycle and galactic dust evolution is incomplete and cannot explain all observations. Observations in the local universe reveal significant variations in dust population amount and chemical composition between galaxies and within them. High redshift (z>5) observations with ALMA, and now JWST, find extremely dusty galaxies <1 Gyr after the Big Bang, suggesting galaxies can be dust-rich for most of their lives. Therefore, dust evolution models coupled with galaxy formation simulations are needed to interpret observations and elucidate our understanding of the dust life cycle.

 In this talk, I highlight the galaxy evolution community's current and sometimes contrasting approaches to modeling dust evolution. In particular, I focus on my work incorporating such models into the GIZMO code, coupled with FIRE-2 stellar feedback and ISM physics, and describe what a dust evolution model needs to match Milky Way observations. I will then explain possible causes for the varying dust populations observed in the Milky Way and Large and Small Magellanic Clouds and the large scatter in galactic dust content seen in the local universe. I will also highlight high redshift observations of extremely dusty star-forming galaxies and what constraints they provide for dust evolution theory.

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