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Astro Seminar

Gas flows and metal enrichment in and around Milky Way-mass galaxies

Speaker: Freeke van de Voort (Cardiff)
Date: Wednesday 17 November 2021
Time: 14:00
Venue: Zoom

Galaxies are intimately connected to the environments they live in. The haloes around them contain the gas reservoir from which the galaxies grow, while galactic outflows heat and enrich this 'circumgalactic' medium (CGM). The elemental abundances of present-day stars are, in part, set by these cosmic gas flows. Using 'zoom-in' cosmological simulations of galaxies similar to the Milky Way, I will discuss the physical and observable properties of gas and stars in and around galaxies. I will focus on two separate topics. The first one is how the presence of magnetic fields alters the gas flows into and out of galaxies, which results in less metal mixing and higher gas fractions inside the halo and changes the size of the stellar disc. The second one is whether or not neutron star mergers could be the main source of heavy elements beyond the iron peak formed through rapid neutron capture (r-process), focusing on the effect of neutron star natal kicks on the resulting stellar abundances. I will compare results from both of these topics to available observational data and discuss the implications.