Thursday 01 March 2018 -
18:30 to 19:30

“Latest news on the evolution of the most massive galaxies and black holes in the Universe”

Dr Francesco Shankar, Associate Professor, University of Southampton will guide us in a special tour from the Solar System to the very far ends in time and space, to have a deep look at a younger Universe, and will outline some scenarios for the generation of such a complex zoology of galaxies and their central supermassive black holes. In this interactive presentation, he will first provide the audience with a basic understanding of how galaxy classification is quantitatively carried out by astronomers. 


Galaxies today can be broadly classified into two families, which reflect distinct morphological, chemical and evolutionary features.
In the first class, galaxies appear younger, less massive and disc-dominated (called “spirals”, such as the Milky Way), while in the latter galaxies are more massive, older, and spheroidal (called “ellipticals”, such as M87 at the centre of the Virgo cluster). “Lenticular” galaxies are in between ellipticals and spirals, often characterized by lower specific star formation rates and no clear spiral pattern. The origin of such a varied morphological mixture is still unclear. 
To further complicate the overall picture, observations have revealed that “supermassive” black holes are ubiquitous at the centres of virtually all local galaxies observed with high enough sensitivity.

Tag icon
Category icon