5/5 lunch talk: Nicholas McConnell (IfA): Puzzles in Massive Galaxy Assembly

in Seminars
May 5th, 2014

Puzzles in Massive Galaxy Assembly

Dr. Nicholas McConnell

CAS 500
12:00 pm
May 5, 2014


Do giant elliptical galaxies represent the final outcome of a common sequence of galaxy growth and merging, or are they the relics of exceptional objects that formed violently in the early universe? I will discus ongoing observational efforts to understand two features of the most massive ellipticals: their stellar populations and their supermassive black holes. These galaxies lie at the top of a nearly linear relationship between black hole mass and stellar bulge mass. New black hole surveys may determine whether this relation arises naturally from hierarchical merging, or shed light upon the origins of overmassive black holes. Separately, there is growing evidence that giant ellipticals produce an excessive fraction of low-mass stars. I will discuss whether this evidence is consistent with the notion of “inside-out” growth for these galaxies.