Nora Shipp, "Discovery & Modeling of Milky Way Stellar Streams"
PhD Advisor: Alex Drlica-Wagner
Stellar streams, the tidal remnants of accreted globular clusters and dwarf galaxies, are uniquely powerful tools for studying the Milky Way. They provide strong constraints on the local distribution of dark matter on large and small scales, and offer insight into the formation and evolution of our Galaxy. These studies require a large, well-observed sample of stellar streams with full six-dimensional (6D) position and velocity measurements. Until recently, such a population was unattainable, but with the advent of large astronomical surveys, observations of stellar streams have improved significantly in recent years.
In this talk, I will present my work on assembling and modelling the first population of stellar streams in 6D. I will first present the discovery of a large sample of stellar streams in the Dark Energy Survey, which increased the known population of streams by ∼ 50%, as well as the discovery of a unique stellar stream associated with the Palomar 13 globular cluster. I will then describe the measurement of the velocities of this new sample of stellar streams via spectroscopic survey and with data from the Gaia satellite, and present results of modeling this population of stellar streams to constrain the distribution of matter in our Galaxy, including the mass of the Milky Way’s largest satellite, the Large Magellanic Cloud. Finally, I will conclude and discuss future efforts in the study of near-field cosmology with this population of 6D stellar streams.