The 2015-16 Frontiers of Astronomy Lecture Series will continue with a talk by Kathryn Johnston, chair and professor of astronomy at Columbia University. Johnston will present “Galactic Cannibalism” Thursday, March 3, at 8 p.m. in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s Murch Auditorium.
Images of galaxies are awe-inspiring—spirals of billions of stars, along with the gas and dust from which stars form, spinning slowly in the sky. Yet these majestic objects are thought to have formed quite violently through the agglomeration of smaller objects. Even our own home—the Milky Way galaxy—seems to be in the process of devouring several smaller galaxies. Johnston will examine why astronomers think galaxies are cannibals in general, and what this means about the past and future evolution of the Milky Way, in particular.
Johnston also will give a talk titled “Dark Matter and Stellar Halos around Galaxies: Formation, Histories and Structure” at 3 p.m. March 3 in Sears Building, Room 552, as part of the Astronomy Colloquium.