Meet your neighbour: a game of light and shadows in Andromeda

May 18, 2016, 3:10 PM



Mr Sébastien VIAENE (UGent)


The closest large galaxy to our own Milky Way is Andromeda (M31). Its proximity allows observations of superb spatial resolution at all wavelengths. We have combined observations of M31 from Earth and space telescopes, ranging from the ultra-violet to millimeter wavelengths. This wavelength range covers the emission from all kinds of stars in this galaxy, but also the dark shadows caused by interstellar dust extinction. Additionally, we can see the thermal emission of the interstellar dust in the far-infrared domain. In this presentation, I will guide you through the many faces of the Andromeda galaxy and explain the underlying interplay between starlight and dust. I will then proceed to outline the 3-D model I made of this system, and what this can learn us about the complex absorption and radiative heating processes that define a galaxy's appearance and internal evolution.

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