The Formation and Growth of Thick and Thin Disks in Milky Way Progenitors in the GOODS at 0.5 ≤ z ≤ 3


Wed, 29 Apr 2015, 09:00 am - 10:00 am
Natural Science Bldg. 312 - Louisville, KY
Graduate Thesis Defense - Spring 2015


Ph.D. Thesis Proposal Defense

Speaker: Matthew T. Nichols
Date: April, 29 2015
Time: 9am
Location: NS 312


Our Milky Way Galaxy, with its thick and thin disks, bulge, and stellar and dark matter haloes, falls into a group known as disk galaxies. Living inside the Milky Way gives us the unique opportunity to study individual stars, providing a detailed history of stellar populations within the Galaxy. Despite the millions of galaxies already catalogued, the question still remains, is the Milky Way a typical representative for the evolution of similar types of galaxies (so-called Milky Way progenitors) or is it in anyway special? Using publicly available data, we present a novel approach to studying the evolution of the disks of moderate redshifted galaxies. With the help of color gradients, we propose to distinguish between thick and thin disk components and compare their evolutionary path to the one derived for the Milky Way. The high resolution imaging data, which come from two of the best observed regions on the sky, the GOODS-North and -South fields, will allow us to measure the color gradients of a sample of edge-on and face-on galaxies, tracking the evolution of Milky Way progenitors in situ. Applying 2D photometric modeling techniques, we will derive structural parameters for both the thick and thin disk, as well as the bulge, creating snapshots of the galaxies' components as they evolve both independently and as a part of the greater galaxy. We present first results for the color maps and 1D and 2D photometric modeling from the GOODS-S data. Using this information, we will compare the evolutionary path of the Milky Way to the evolutionary paths of galaxies like it.



Natural Science Bldg. 312