ID02: Galaxy Evolution in 3D

At the heart of astronomy is the constant interplay of new questions demanding new instrumentation, and new instrumentation driving new science (that raises new questions). Today, the field of extragalactic astronomy is being revolutionised by the proliferation of wide-field 3D integral field spectrographs. These systems allow galaxies and their surroundings to be described kinematically— for example, allowing gas flows and rotational data to be captured in detail.

In this Invited Discourse, speaker Lisa Kewley will give an overview of our new understanding of how large-scale outflows in galaxies shape structures, ranging from the arms of spiral galaxies to the bulges of the most massive galaxies in the Universe. 

This new area of observational astronomy is transforming our understanding of galaxy evolution by allowing the physics and the impact of these processes to be efficiently traced. With multi-object integral field spectroscopy, we can now probe these transformative processes statistically for thousands of galaxies. Kewley will describe how spectral surveys have helped astronomers to understand the relationship between gas inflows, galactic-scale outflows, star formation, chemical enrichment and active galactic nuclei in galaxies.  

These results have implications beyond extragalactic astronomy and Kewley will tie these techniques and results to new insights into the early Universe, traced through gravitational lensing and infrared adaptive optics. She will finish by discussing how this field will be transformed in the JWST and ELT era.

LISA KEWLEY is a Professor and Associate Director at the Research School for Astronomy & Astrophysics at the Australian National University. She specialises in galaxy evolution and takes on dangerous wildlife when observing at the Australian National Observatory.