CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2012
 10 May 2012

10 May 2012

Speaker: Chris Mihos (Case Western)

Title:Intracluster Light and the Hierarchical Assembly of Cluster Galaxies

Abstract:The life of a cluster galaxy is a violent one. As galaxy clusters form and evolve, their member galaxies frequently collide and interact both with other galaxies and galaxy groups, and with the cluster as a whole. Over time, these interactions strip stars from their host galaxies and spread them throughout the cluster to form a diffuse "intracluster light" (ICL). Using numerical simulations, we can explore the formation and structure of the ICL, and use it as a tracer of the dynamical evolution of galaxy clusters. Our deep, wide-field imaging of the nearby Virgo Cluster has revealed a remarkably complex web of diffuse ICL in Virgo. The morphology and color of this starlight allow us to probe the accretion and infall history of individual Virgo galaxies as well.


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