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Obesity in the Universe: Why Did Early-Type Galaxies Grow in Size

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Once considered the simplest class of galaxy to model and explain, the assembly history of early type galaxies still presents many puzzles. Spectroscopic observations show that the most massive examples completed their star formation earlier than that in their less massive counterparts, in apparent contradiction to popularly-held hierarchical models. Hubble observations have also revealed that many of the most massive early types seen at high redshift are much more compact than their present-day equivalents. This suggests they somehow expanded in size without growing significantly in mass. Clearly, early type galaxies still have a lot to tell us about galaxy formation and assembly. I will reveal the progress being made with new spectroscopic and Hubble data (....but don’t promise to solve all the puzzles).

Refreshments will be available following the seminar.

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