Science > Meetings > 2021 > 237th American Astronomical Society Meeting > New Views of Galaxy Formation and Evolution

New Views of Galaxy Formation and Evolution

by Davis Murphy last modified Oct 15, 2020 by Mark Adams

Credit: Nicolle R. Fuller, NSF
Credit: Nicolle R. Fuller, NSF

American Astronomical Society virtual winter meeting

The NRAO and the ngVLA Project will convene a virtual Special Session titled New Views of Galaxy Formation and Evolution on 14 January 2021 at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting.

Sensitive ground- and space-based astronomical facilities are pushing the detection of galaxies well into the Epoch of Reionization (EoR), less than 1 Gyr after the Big Bang. Such observations are allowing us to begin piecing together a picture for how and when the first galaxies formed, along with the physical processes driving their evolution into the mature systems that we observe in the local Universe.

While existing facilities are making transformative discoveries by pushing their capabilities to the limit of what can be detected at the earliest times, sample sizes remain small as detections of individual systems are limited to the most luminous sources or those whose detections are afforded by strong lensing. Informed by these pioneering efforts, suites of next-generation ground- and space-based facilities will marshal a new combination of large area, deep multi-wavelength surveys that will jointly characterize the accretion, star formation, molecular gas, and stellar mass histories for large populations of galaxies back into the EoR and beyond. When combined with a detailed accounting of the kinematics, chemical abundances, and energetic processes associated with these systems, such studies will ultimately provide a self-consistent framework that will revolutionize the field of galaxy evolution, leading to a much-improved theoretical understanding of the fundamental physics driving the formation and evolution of galaxies over cosmic time.

This AAS Special Session will highlight recent scientific breakthroughs in galaxy evolution enabled by current investigations using large optical/IR, (sub-)millimeter, and radio facilities; describe planned near- and long-term improvements for ground- and space-based facilities; discuss major scientific leaps likely to result from next-generation facilities across the electromagnetic spectrum; and review the highest-priority themes in the field of galaxy evolution that will be accomplished by the state-of-the-art observatories commissioned in the next decade. This Special Session will feature a session of invited oral presentations and an associated iPoster session with contributed presentations.

Confirmed speakers: Mark Dickinson (NOIRLab), Linda Tacconi (Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics), Justin Spilker (University of Texas), Xiaohui Fan (University of Arizona), Chris Willott (Herzberg Astrophysics), and Rachel Sommerville (Flatiron Institute).