Simulating the Milky Way

Dr. Andrew Wetzel (Carnegie - Caltech)
May 2, 2017 - 4:00pm

Abstract

I will present results from the Latte suite of cosmological zoom-in baryonic simulations that model the formation of Milky Way-like galaxies at parsec-scale resolution, using the FIRE (Feedback in Realistic Environments) model for star formation and feedback. First I will discuss the formation of Milky Way-like thin+thick disks, including their elemental abundances. The Latte simulations also self-consistently resolve the satellite dwarf galaxies that form around each host, and I will show progress in addressing the 'missing satellites' and 'too-big-to-fail' problems of LCDM cosmology. I also will discuss the stellar halos, including new insight from comparison to Gaia data. Finally, I will discuss a new long-term program to use HST to measure proper motions and star-formation histories for every satellite dwarf galaxy around the Milky Way, including new approaches to orbit modeling to understand their full histories in a cosmological context.