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Astro Seminar

Barred galaxies in ΛCDM: Clues on the formation history and dark matter content of Milky Way-type galaxies

Speaker: Francesca Fragkoudi (Garching)
Date: Wednesday 17 February 2021
Time: 14:00
Venue: Zoom

The advent of high resolution hydrodynamical cosmological simulations allows us to now study the dynamics of barred galaxies, such as our own Milky Way, within the full ΛCDM cosmological context. I will present what we have learned about the formation history of our galaxy and its inner structures -- such as the bar and the boxy/peanut bulge -- by comparing the chemo-dynamical properties of stellar populations of these inner regions to the Auriga cosmological simulations. In particular, I will present evidence of the almost entirely in-situ formation of the Galaxy's bulge, and of its unusually quiescent merger history. I will also show how studying the dynamics of barred galaxies in cosmological simulations -- in particular the interaction through dynamical friction of the bar and the dark matter halo -- can help us shed light on the amount of dark matter in massive spiral galaxies. I will discuss these findings within the context of the recently reported 'failed feedback problem' as well as within the context of galaxy formation and evolution in general.