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A Deep View of the Early Universe: Extreme Makeovers and Overweight Galaxies

Lecture | June 15 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | 100 Genetics & Plant Biology Building

Mariska Kriek, UC Berkeley


Galaxies are the building blocks of the Universe; massive structures that contain up to 100s of billions of stars. Galaxies in today's Universe show a striking diversity among their properties, with large variations in their appearance, age, size, weight, and stellar birth rate. Despite this diversity, galaxies can broadly be divided into two types: low-mass spiral galaxies with high stellar production rates, and massive old elliptical galaxies in which no new stars are being formed. Whereas this broad distinction was already recognized by Edwin Hubble in the 1920s, it has remained a puzzle how this dichotomy originated and how the different galaxy classes may be related to each other. In my talk I will discuss this issue and present our current view of how the different types of galaxies may have formed and have evolved over cosmic time.

Mariska Kriek received her PhD from Leiden University in the Netherlands. On the basis of her dissertation, on the evolution of galaxies in the young universe, she was declared "Researcher of the Year 2007" by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Leiden University. In 2008, she was awarded the prestigious Christiaan Huygens Science Award by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. After a Clay Fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and a Russell Fellowship at the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University, she joined the faculty in the Astronomy Department at UC Berkeley.

This free public talk is presented as part of the monthly "Science@Cal Lecture Series".

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Webcast. Events are recorded and typically made available a few days after the event.