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Department of Astronomy pres.

Astronomy Colloquium Series Presents

Dr. Charlotte Mason, NASA Hubble and CfA Fellow, Center for Astrophysics, Harvard & Smithsonian

Dr. Charlotte Mason Dr. Charlotte Mason
Dr. Charlotte Mason
What can galaxies tell us about reionization?

The reionization of intergalactic hydrogen in the universe's first billion years was likely driven by the first stars and galaxies. However, we will probably never observe these 'first light' sources directly, but their properties can be inferred through accurate measurements of the timeline and morphology of reionization. I will describe how we can use galaxies at our current observational frontiers to measure the reionization process. In particular, Lyman alpha (Lyα) emission from galaxies can be used to probe the intergalactic medium at high redshifts, but requires modelling physics from pc to Gpc scales. I will describe how we can constrain reionization from spectroscopic observations of galaxies, focusing on Lyα emission at z>6, by comparing observations to theoretical models and simulations usingstatistical inference methods. I will present new measurements which favour a late and relatively rapid reionization, and place these in the context of high redshift galaxy formation. I will discuss the challenges and prospects in understanding reionization and early galaxy evolution with future facilities, such as JWST and upcoming 21cm experiments.

Please note: Should you require any reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access and opportunity related to this event please contact Stacy Tiburzi at 734-764-3440 or

Tea will be served beforehand from 3:00-3:30pm in Serpens.

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