Friday 8pm we will have Richard Beare talking about “The Evolution of Galaxies”:
The galaxies we see today come in many shapes, sizes and colours, and the stars within disc galaxies move in a very different way from those within elliptical galaxies. Understanding how this rich variety came about is one of the main goals of astrophysics today. Starting from the small density fluctuations that gave rise to today’s cosmic microwave background, galaxies have arisen as ordinary (i.e. atomic) matter has collapsed into unseen dark matter halos. Stars have formed as regions of cool dense hydrogen gas within galaxies have collapsed under the influence of gravity. Galaxies themselves have grown and changed in composition because of mergers, new star formation and the switching off of star formation. Cosmological simulations have been quite successful at explaining the observed distribution of different types of galaxies in giant clusters, filaments and voids, but there is still more work to be done. one way of testing our theories of galaxy formation is through comparing their predictions with measurements of how the “galaxy luminosity function” has evolved – in other words how many galaxies of different luminosities there were at different times in the past – and I will conclude with some of the results of my own research into this important topic.
Following the talk and supper, there will be viewing through the MBO telescopes (weather permitting). If you have a telescope and would like to know how to use it, or alternatively, would like to show it off to us, please bring it along.
Members’ Night is on every Friday night commencing at 8PM (doors open 7:30PM). Guests are always welcome.
Please consider the neighbours and drive in and out quietly using low beam only, or better still, parking lights.