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The Remarkable History of Massive Galaxies

Astronomy Spring Colloquia 2010 Tuesday, 4:30pm-5:30pm, Peyton Hall auditorium:

By Pieter Von Dokkum

"In the nearby Universe massive galaxies form a very
homogeneous population, as they are almost without exception old, red early-type galaxies. However, recent observations have demonstrated that this has not always been the case: about 10 billion years ago they showed a great diversity, ranging from large star forming systems to extremely compact quiescent galaxies. I will review these results, and also discuss new observations of the growth of massive galaxies over the past 10 billion years from the NEWFIRM Medium Band Survey (NMBS). Data coming from surveys such as the NMBS now provide a robust picture of galaxy
growth; aspects of this growth have been predicted by galaxy formation
models but it is not yet clear whether the key physical mechanisms
have been identified."