Exploring the Ghostly Side of Galaxies with Dragonfly

16 August 2018

Venue: Rijksmuseum Boerhaave

Language:           This lecture will be held in English

Venue:                 Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, Lange St. Agnietenstraat 10, Leiden

Schedule:           18.00-19.00

Entrance:            Special Guest Card, entrance ticket, friend of the museum

Registration:     rijksmuseumboerhaave.nl/te-zien-te-doen/public-lecture-exploring-the-ghostly-side-of-galaxies-with-dragonfly/  

Together with Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, the Lorentz Center organizes the public event ‘Exploring the Ghostly Side of Galaxies with Dragonfly’

Exploring the Ghostly Side of Galaxies with Dragonfly

Bigger telescopes are usually better telescopes…. but not always. In this talk professor Abraham will explore the ghostly world of large structures at the sky, such as galactic stellar halos, low-surface brightness dwarf galaxies, and other exotica such as supernova light echoes. These objects are nearly undetectable with conventional telescopes, but their properties may hold the key to understanding how galaxies assemble. Professor Abrahams will describe why finding these objects is important, and why it is so devilishly difficult.

One possibility is the Toronto/Yale/Harvard Dragonfly Telephoto Array, which is now being used to explore the low surface brightness universe and is testing some of the most fundamental predictions of galaxy formation models. Professor Abraham will show some early results, made with this telecope consisting of 48 commercial telephoto lenses. One of them is the discovery of a new class of ghostlike galaxies (Ultra Diffuse Galaxies) that are as big as the Milky Way but have about 1/100 of its stellar mass.


Speaker Roberto Abraham is a professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. His work is focused on observations of galaxy formation and evolution and the development of innovative instruments, such as the Dragonfly Telephoto Array, now the world’s largest all-refracting telescope.

This public lecture is part of a collaboration between Rijksmuseum Boerhaave and the Lorentz Center, in which internationally respected experts address a wide audience on topics of societal and/or scientific importance.

Rijksmuseum Boerhaave

Rijksmuseum Boerhaave is the Dutch National Museum for the History of Science and Medicine. Its aim is to improve the societal support base for science in the Netherlands. Rijksmuseum Boerhaave always seeks to connect its activities with current events  (https://rijksmuseumboerhaave.nl/engels/).

The Lorentz Center

The Lorentz Center is a Dutch workshop center, located at Leiden University. It organizes international scientific workshops in all disciplines, to promote innovative research at the scientific frontiers as well as on complex societal challenges. (www.lorentzcenter.nl)


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