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What can the Occult do for you?
  Astronomy and astrophysics

Friday 02 October 2015
from 10:30 to 11:30
at FC61
Speaker : Benne Holwerda (Leiden Observatory, the Netherlands)
Abstract : Dust absorption remains the poorest constrained parameter in both Cosmological distances and multiwavelength studies of galaxy populations. A galaxy's dust distribution can be measured to great accuracy in the case of an overlapping pair of galaxies, i.e., when a foreground spiral galaxy accidentally overlaps a more distant, preferably elliptical galaxy. We have identified bona-fide overlapping pairs --well separated in redshift but close on the sky-- in the GAMA spectroscopic survey, taking advantage of its high completeness (98%) on small scales and the GalaxyZoo classification of the SDSS. The ongoing STARSMOG program aims to map the fine-scale (~50pc) dust structure in these occulting galaxies, using HST/WFC3 SNAP observations. The resulting dust maps will (1) serve as an extinction probability for supernova lightcurve fits in similar type host galaxies, (2) strongly constrain the role of ISM structure in Spectral Energy Distribution models of spiral galaxies, and (3) map the level of ISM turbulence (through the spatial power-spectrum).

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