RSAA Colloquia / Seminars / Feast-of-Facts: Tuesday, 12 March 2019, 11:00-12:00; CSO Common Room

Kate Rowlands

"Caught in the act: Using post-starburst galaxies to chart galaxy transformation over cosmic time"

One key problem in astrophysics is understanding how and why galaxies stop forming stars. The exact mechanisms that lead to the disruption of the gas supply, the relative importance of different quenching mechanisms, and the timescales involved are still poorly understood. Post-starburst galaxies are an ideal laboratory to study the galaxy transition process as they have undergone a recent, rapid shutdown in star formation. My recent work showed that post-starburst galaxies are not completely devoid of gas, which challenges the rapid quenching mode thought to form the quiescent population. Using wide-area photometric and spectroscopic surveys, I will describe what the stellar, gas, dust properties of post-starburst galaxies reveal about the processes causing galaxies to transition from star forming to quiescent.