IAS/PU Joint Astrophysics Colloquium

Cosmology and Galaxy Formation at the Crossroads

Michael Boylan-Kolchin

We find ourselves at a pivotal era in the study of cosmology and galaxy formation. The dark energy + cold dark matter (ΛCDM) paradigm is firmly established as the default cosmological model, owing in large part to its incredible success in explaining...

How to Form a Habitable Planet

Meredith MacGregor

Planets form from disks of dust and gas surrounding young stars.  As they grow, these new planets inherit their chemical composition from the surrounding material and then sculpt it through gravitational interactions to form gaps and other asymmetric...

Spirals in Galaxies

Karen Masters

The iconic spiral arms that decorate the disks of massive galaxies (like our own Milky Way) have been studied observationally and theoretically since they were first recorded 180 years ago, nevertheless the exact details of their nature remains...

The Slowing Bar

Ralph Schönrich

In the inner Milky Way stars trek together in a bar-shaped, rotating overdensity: the central bar, which dominates the inner disc out half-way to the Sun. The rotation velocity/pattern speed of this bar has been intensely debated. The best insight...