CfA OIR Division Lunch Talks

May 13, 1999 Pratt Conference Room, 12:30 pm

New Windows on Galaxy History

Dr. James Lowenthal, UMass Amherst


In the last decade, we have progressed from familiarity with only nearby galaxies, corresponding to lookback times much less than a Hubble Time, to quantitative measurements of galaxies more than 95% of the way back to the Big Bang. The most distant objects now known are not quasars but galaxies. We can finally address concrete questions about the processes of formation and evolution, masses, star-formation histories, and clustering properties of galaxies and proto-galaxies using direct and copious evidence. Most of these advances were made possible by new 8- and 10-m ground-based telescopes and the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope working in the ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared; new facilities working in other wavebands will open new windows on the early universe of galaxies in the next few years.