Episode 34: The Intimate Relationship Between Galaxies and Dark Matter, with Anne-Marie Weijmans

For more info on the podcast, please see our About page.

Feature Guest: Anne-Marie Weijmans

Anne-Marie_Weijmans

Dark matter and galaxies turn out to live together as intimate partners. What role did dark matter play in the formation, characteristics and subsequent evolution of galaxies in our universe? And what do our studies of galaxies in turn teach us about the nature of dark matter haloes? To help answer those questions, Dr. Anne-Marie Weijmans joins Justin Trottier at the Star Spot.

The two touch on tantalizing and little known discoveries. Evidence of ancient dwarf galaxy mergers from the movement of stars in our galaxy. Dark matter in our own solar system. And the previously empty space between galaxies turns out to harbor dark matter haloes extending between galactic islands.

Current in Space

Victoria Duncan shares new data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter focused on the Mars northern lowlands showing evidence of fossilized water channels and even an ancient river delta. Jessica Campbell on what we’re learning about how dark holes accrete mass and grow by studying gas around the Milky Way’s own supermassive black hole. And Denise Fong asks, Where are all the waves on Saturn’s larget moon, Titan?

If you have interesting news and story ideas, as well as topics or potential interview guest, please send them to starspotpodcast@gmail.com

About Anne-Marie Weijmans

Dr. Anne-Marie Weijmans was one of the first two Dunlap Fellows at the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. In the summer of 2013, she left the Dunlap to join the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, as a lecturer. Her specialty is in galactic dark matter haloes. She is part of a project to use Sloan Digital Sky Survey data to look deep within galaxies, to map velocities of stars and gas within 10,000 nearby galaxies, as part of these studies. Dr. Weijmans is also keenly interested in education and public outreach. She set up the first Dutch Astronomy Olympiad for high school students, helps run workshops to improve science communication skills, and gives frequent public talks on those topics for which she is passionate: galaxies and dark matter.

Links

Dunlap Institute Page

Dark Matter 101, by Dr. Anne-Marie Weijmans

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