The SJAA General Meeting we held last Saturday evening was fantastic!
Connie Rockosi, from UC Lick, talked about her work figuring out how galaxies form over (very long periods of) time. Some things that I found interesting and wrote down:
- galaxies are not evenly distributed througout space
- density perturbations -> gravity -> galaxies?
- there is a spherical halo around our home galaxy, the Milky Way, made up of regular matter and... dark matter?
- dwarf galaxies, such as the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy, orbit the MW - are these the mass/density perturbations that are shown in the models?
- we are/the sun is about 8 kilo parsecs from the center of the MW
- tidal tails, as they are called, result from galaxies or star clusters coming close to other mass densities, such as other galaxies or clusters. Palomar 5 is a great example of an object with very well formed tidal tails. http://www.seds.org/~spider/spider/MWGC/pal05.html
We also heard from Cynthia Denny who talked about the Save Our State Parks initiative, which will create a trust fund for California State Parks. http://www.savestateparks.org/