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Tracing the build-up of massive galaxies from their smallest components: The view from the Virgo cluster

The build-up of galaxies is thought to be a continual process of merging and accretion of smaller components. This history is difficult to disentangle, but studying low-mass stellar systems such as dwarf galaxies and star clusters gives us a window onto the entire history of galaxy assembly. I will present work on the most massive concentration of galaxies in the nearby Universe, the Virgo galaxy cluster, using data from The Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey (NGVS), a deep, homogeneous CFHT survey of the entire cluster within the virial radius. I will discuss how both the densest stellar systems (globular clusters and ultra-compact dwarfs), as well as the most diffuse (ultra-diffuse galaxies), are informing us about the assembly history of their massive counterparts. I will also highlight the excellent prospects for these kinds of studies in upcoming imaging surveys from the ground and space.

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Eric Peng, Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics

October 27, 2021
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm