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Cafe Sci: Building Galaxies in the office

Mark Wilkinson

Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester

If you have ever looked up at the Milky Way on a clear night, you may have wondered where all the stars came from. The quest to answer this fascinating question lies at the heart of modern astronomy. Surprisingly, recent discoveries have shown that many of the stars in the Milky Way actually originated in other galaxies which were consumed by our Galaxy during its billions of years of evolution.

Join Dr. Mark Wilkinson as he considers the ingredients needed to build a galaxy and summarises what we know (and what we don’t know) about how the cosmic soup of stars, gas, dust and dark matter produced the magnificent range of stars and galaxies that we see in the Universe today. Along the way he will discuss answers to many questions such as: What is a galaxy? Where did the Milky Way come from? What happens when galaxies collide? How do supermassive black holes grow? What produces the most powerful explosions in the Universe? And what does juggling have to do with astronomy?

MEETING FORMAT: Our speaker talks, uninterrupted for 20 minutes, to introduce his topic. During a break to get drinks, the Hat goes round. Then there is an hour’s chaired question and answer session. Cafe Sci is funded by the Hat (no sponsors). We suggest a contribution £5 (waged) or £2 - £3 (unwaged). Full details here.

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