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Illuminating Diffuse Galaxies with New Generation Imaging Surveys

We are entering a new era for wide and deep optical surveys, which promises to extend our census of the galaxy population to lower surface brightnesses than has ever been possible over large areas of the sky. These surveys will uncover low surface brightness (LSB) galaxies across halo environments, providing important tests for theoretical predictions of galaxy and star formation, stellar feedback processes, and the distribution and nature of dark matter. I will present results from our ongoing efforts to discover and characterize diffuse galaxies with the Hyper Suprime-Cam Survey, a new generation imaging survey that is serving as a stepping stone into the LSST era. We are uncovering a diverse population of objects, spanning dwarf ellipticals in nearby galaxy groups to ultra-diffuse galaxies in the field to giant LSB spirals. Importantly, reliable distances are required to study the numbers and physical properties of these objects as a function of environment, and we are taking a number of approaches to constrain the distance distribution of our sample. I will focus in particular on our efforts to simulate and empirically calibrate ground-based surface brightness fluctuations in LSB dwarf galaxies, which offer a powerful method for measuring galaxy distances using imaging data alone. Pushing such studies to lower surface brightnesses will be necessary to form a more complete census of the galaxy population, which will ultimately provide one of the strongest tests of the standard LCDM framework.

Cody Hall, AB 107

Johnny Greco, Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (Ohio State University)

October 23, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm