Hunting for the Dark

Hunting for the Dark:
The Hidden Side of Galaxy Formation

19-23rd October 2009 Malta



Many of the components and processes that play an important role in the formation of galaxies are either dark, obscured or faint. This restricts our ability to test theories and models. This meeting aims to bring together researchers in galaxy formation to address some of these challenges.

Subjects of interest will include:


  • What do the properties of disks allow us to infer about the properties of the dark matter halos within which they reside? What can be learned about their density, spin, and shape and how do these compare with predictions of simulations? What can be inferred about the dark matter properties of elliptical galaxies? How does the baryon content of galaxies vary across the luminosity function, from L* to the lowest mass systems? How dark matter dominated are the dwarf spheroidal galaxies, and what constraints does understanding them provide on the roles of feedback and reionisation?
  • How do supermassive black holes form and grow? How do they affect the galaxies within which they reside? How can we infer their presence in the smallest systems and in the most dusty environments? What do the famous scaling relations of supermassive black holes reveal about their evolution? To what extent do the related scalings of nuclear star clusters inform about black hole formation?
  • What do the faint components of galaxies reveal about galaxy formation? How do stellar halos, thick disks, outer disks, diffuse satellites and shells constrain models? What are the future prospects for using these subsystems as signposts in galactic archaeology? How do they reveal how galaxies are connected to the cosmic web?
  • How can we quantify star formation which is obscured by dust? How much star formation do we miss in the optical and what does this imply for the usual scaling relations?
  • When does gas fail to make stars and why? How much of this gas is there? What do the blind HI surveys reveal about galaxy formation? Where are the missing baryons and how do they get there? How does gas circulate in galaxies?


Scientific Organising Committee

  • Victor P. Debattista (UCLan), co-chair
  • Cristina C. Popescu (UCLan), co-chair
  • Andreas Burkert (Univ. München)
  • James Bullock (UC, Irvine)
  • Francoise Combes (Observatoire de Paris)
  • Michael Dopita (ANU, Canberra)
  • Simon Driver (Univ. St. Andrews)
  • Annette Ferguson (Univ. Edinburgh)
  • Ken Freeman (ANU, Canberra)
  • Karl Gebhardt (Univ. Texas)
  • Ben Moore (Univ. Zürich)
  • Richard Tuffs (MPIK, Heidelberg)


Invited Speakers


  • Annette Ferguson (University of Edinburgh, UK)
  • Filippo Fraternali (University of Bologna, Italy)
  • Ken Freeman (ANU, Australia)
  • Kathryn Johnston (Columbia University, USA)
  • Lucio Mayer (Univ. Zürich, Switzerland)
  • Albrecht Poglitsch (MPE, Germany) (TBC pending availability of results from the science verification phase of Herschel)
  • Cristina C. Popescu (UCLan, UK)
  • Volker Springel (MPA, Germany)
  • Lister Staveley-Smith (University of Western Australia)
  • Frank van den Bosch (MPIA, Germany)
  • Guinevere Kauffmann (MPA, Germany)(Concluding Remarks)

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