Antonela Monachesi (University of Michigan)

Resolving stellar populations of nearby galaxies: The SFH of M32 and the color profile of M81's stellar halo
When May 24, 2012 from 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
  • Special Seminar
Where SH, Lecture hall
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The detailed study of the resolved stellar populations in the nearby Universe is a powerful tool to understand how galaxies form, interact and evolve across cosmic time. In this talk I will focus on the stellar populations of two very distinct galaxies: M32 and M81.

The Local Group galaxy M32 is a compact elliptical galaxy, satellite of M31. Although a low-luminosity galaxy, M32 is the nearest system with structural properties reminiscent of giant ellipticals. I will present the most complete inventory of the resolved stellar populations of M32 and its SFH at 2 arcmin from its center from both qualitative and statistical analyses of very high-resolution and deep HST observations.

During the second part of this talk, I will discuss an ongoing study of 19 fields near the large spiral galaxy M81. The fields, observed as part of the GHOSTS survey, probe the stellar halo of M81 out to projected distances of ~ 50 kpc along the minor axis of M81, an unprecedented distance for halo studies outside the Local Group. I will present the color profile of M81's stellar halo and compare our results with cosmologically motivated models.