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Tom Brink Thesis Defense

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
4:00 AM
845 Dennison (OWL)

"The Kinematics of the Sagittarius Stream", Tom Brink

Tidal streams can provide us with a great deal of information about their dwarf progenitors, and by implication, the progenitors of the building blocks of stellar halos.  Since the locations, and motions of the stars that comprise a stream reflect the underlying gravitational potential in which they orbit, their positions and kinematics can also be used to constrain the shape of their host galaxy's dark matter halo.  Sagittarius is the only known Milky Way satellite with substantial streams encircling more than 360 deg around its host, making it the perfect candidate for such a study.  We present the results of an extensive observational undertaking to acquire the single largest spectroscopic data set of Sagittarius stream stars.  The results of this kinematic survey are then compared to the predictions of N-body models of the destruction of Sgr in Galactic halos of various shapes.

Tom Brink