University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Astronomy Seminar Series

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
12:00pm – 1:00pm

Storrs Campus

Dr. Joel Leja, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Pushing Galaxy SED Models to the Limit: A Wealth of New Insights with Prospector

Broadband photometry of galaxies measures an unresolved mix of complex stellar populations, gas, and dust. Interpreting data affected by such a large range of physical processes is a challenge for models. As a result, properties derived from modeling galaxy photometry are systematically uncertain by a factor of two or more. Yet, answering key questions in the field now requires higher accuracy than this. Here, I will present a new model framework specifically designed for these complexities. This model, Prospector-α, includes dust attenuation and re-radiation, a flexible attenuation curve, nebular emission, stellar metallicity, obscured AGN, and a 6-component nonparametric star formation history. The flexibility and range of the parameter space, coupled with MCMC sampling within the Prospector inference framework, is designed to provide unbiased parameters and realistic error bars. I will present a careful assessment of the accuracy of this model on a well-studied sample of nearby galaxies. Predictions for physical properties from the broadband SED fit compare favorably with a wealth of ancillary data: optical and mid-infrared spectra, X-ray data, and WISE color gradients. I will end by discussing prospects for the application of Prospector-α to galaxies in the distant Universe.


Prof. Whitaker

Physics Department (primary), UConn Master Calendar

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