ITC Colloquium - Louise Edwards (Cal Poly)


Thursday, September 26, 2019, 11:00am to 12:00pm



Title: Clocking the formation of local Brightest Cluster Galaxies

Abstract: Several puzzles continue to plague our understanding of the formation of Brightest Cluster Galaxies (BCGs): 1) What can the age and metallicity of the accumulated stellar mass tell us about when, where and how BCGs are created - and can these be understood simultaneously in hierarchical galaxy formation models? 2) How does the intracluster (ICL) form? Do the stellar kinematics suggest it is a natural extension of the outer envelope of a BCG, or, is it part of the cluster? We will examine each of these questions with WIYN SparsePak IFU-like observations of a unique sample of 23 low redshift galaxy clusters. We analyze the spectra of BCG cores, and for the first time, large samples of BCG+ICL spectra. We present stellar ages, metallicity, and velocity dispersion throughout the galaxies.  These direct measures place important observational constraints for models of galaxy and cluster evolution.