<b>LSA Theme Semester</b><br><i>Witnessing the Formation of Galaxies: Violence in the Early Universe</i>
Speaker: Charles Steidel (Caltech)
Telescopes allow us not only to peer out to the far reaches of space, but also to look back in time by observing the most distant objects in the Universe. Using large telescopes, we can observe directly what the universe looked like up to about 13 billion years ago, and all times in between, up to the present. We now know that there was a particularly spectacular, and sometimes violent, period when the Universe was in its youth, some 10 to12 billion years ago, where the process of galaxy formation was especially intense. Supernova explosions, bright quasars, and vigorous star formation in young galaxies during this period of time altered forever the appearance of the Universe and were responsible for shaping much of what we see in the present day.