Prof. Annette Ferguson of University of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh will present a lecture titled "Ghosts and Cannibals: Insight into the Tumultuous Lives of Large Galaxies"

It is commonly thought that large galaxies, like our Milky Way, have interacted with hundreds of smaller dwarf galaxy  companions throughout their lifetimes.  These interactions not only destroy the smaller galaxies through gravitational shredding but they can profoundly shape the properties and evolution of the larger system.  I will present recent examples of these cannibalistic events that have been observed in our own Milky Way and in the nearby Universe, and discuss what we can learn about them from studying the ghostly remnants of the now-devoured dwarfs.

Annette Ferguson is Professor of Observational Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.  Originally from Dumbarton, her family emigrated to Canada when she was a teenager.  She conducted her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto and went on to do PhD research at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.  Following postdoctoral fellowships in Cambridge, Groningen and Munich, she joined the academic staff at the University of Edinburgh in 2005.  She specialises in understanding the histories of nearby galaxies through examining the fossil record contained in their ancient stars, and is avid user of some of the world’s most advanced telescopes.

The lecture will start at 1930 and will be viewable on the ASG's YouTube channel