case western reserve university



Star formation, gas and galaxy morphology

Andrew Hopkins (Pittsburgh)

The star formation history of the universe is becoming a very well measured quantity, and can be used to strongly constrain models of galaxy formation and evolution. One class of galaxy, objects known as damped Lyman alpha (DLA) absorbers, are conjectured to be similar to the highly star forming systems at that dominate this star formation history at high redshift. I will introduce and summarise existing star formation history data, and present new results that infer the star formation properties for DLAs, suggesting that they are quite a different population entirely. Some novel tools will be introduced for exploring galaxy properties, including star formation histories, and their connection with the evolution and development of galaxy morphology. The implementation of such tools in the context of a Virtual Observatory infrastructure will be discussed.