Galaxy Mergers: Identification and Classification

Speaker and affiliation: 
William Pearson (National Centre for Nuclear Research)
Tue, 2022-01-18 12:30 to 13:30

Galaxy mergers underpin our current understanding of how galaxies grow and evolve over cosmic timescales. Thus understanding galaxy mergers will help us better understand the Universe that we live in. These galaxy mergers are also relatively rare, with less than 10% of observed galaxies undergoing a merger. To understand galaxy mergers, we need to identify these rare phenomena.

In this talk, we will have a deep discussion on the different methods used to identify galaxy mergers. This will range from the oldest method, finding them by eye, to the most recent developments, machine learning. We will see the strengths and weaknesses of each method. The talk will also discuss how we can move away from simple identification of galaxy mergers towards classifying galaxy mergers; are the galaxies just before or after a merger, and how long will it be until the galaxies merge or have merged. It will also hint at the science that is just around the corner and the exciting things we are just about to discover.


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