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Department Colloquia pres.

Special Astronomy/Physics Seminar | Tidal Stellar Streams as Probes of Dark Matter: Detection and Dynamical Analysis

Khyati Malhan (University of Stockholm)

Tidal stellar streams have gained a lot of popularity in the field of astrophysics. These orbit-like structures, that are formed by the tidal disruption of a globular cluster or a satellite galaxy by the potential of the host galaxy, serve as “fossils” that encode information regarding the accretion history of our Galaxy. Recently, it has also been realized that analysis of the morphology and dynamics of star streams provide powerful means to constrain the Milky Way’s gravitational potential and its dark matter distribution, and can also be useful in probing the very nature of the dark matter particle itself.

The talk is intended to provide a short introduction on “stellar stream” systems and their importance in various scientific studies. The other highlight of the talk would be the STREAMFINDER algorithm (an algorithm designed to detect stellar streams in the astrophysical catalogues) and the new panoramic sky map of the stellar streams of the Milky Way halo that we obtained by analyzing ESA/Gaia DR2. Towards the end, I will also mention some of the recent studies that I have been involved in which also employ stellar streams.

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