Golden Webinars – Michael Merrifield – "Observations of Nearby Galaxies"

The ‘Golden Webinars in Astrophysics’ series seeks to bring forefront research in astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology to the public in the English and Spanish language. Our speaker of the Golden Webinar on September 11th, 2020 was Michael Merrifield. The full title of his talk was “Observations of Nearby Galaxies – Not Just Beautiful But Also A Key To Their Formation”.

Dr. Merrifield has carried out research on subjects ranging from asteroid formation to novel methods for allocating telescope time, but the main focus of his studies has been seeking to understand the evolution of galaxies by ‘archaeological analyses’ of nearby systems. Together with James Binney, he co-authored the graduate-level textbook “Galactic Astronomy”. He is very interested in the next generation of telescopes, and is chairing the committee overseeing UK’s role in the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope project. He also has a strong commitment to popularising science: he created a spinout company, Crystal Nebulae, which produces scientifically-accurate glass sculptures of astronomical objects, and in 2016 he was awarded the Kelvin Medal by the Institute of Physics for his work in establishing the successful “Sixty Symbols” YouTube channel with filmmaker Brady Haran. He recently purchased his first telescope (really!), and spent lockdown nights taking pictures of galaxies from his back yard in Nottingham.

The panel of the September 11th, 2020 ‘Golden Webinar’ consisted of:
• Michael Merrifield – speaker
• Patricio González – interpreter, patricio.gonzalez.interprete@gmail.com
• Thomas H. Puzia – co-host, faculty at the Institute of Astrophysics (IA)
• Evelyn Johnston – co-host, postdoc at IA
• Felipe Barrientos – director of IA
• Yasna Ordenes-Briceño – postdoctoral researcher at IA
• Paul Eigenthaler – postdoctoral researcher at IA
• Giuseppe D’Ago – postdoctoral fellow at IA
• Antonela Monachesi – faculty at the University of La Serena
• Kathy Vivas – Astronomer at the Cerro-Tololo Interamerican Observatory
• Rohan Rahatgaonkar – Recent graduate from the University of Toledo and Intern at Gemini Observatory
• Dmitry Makarov – Astronomer at the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Nizhnij Arkhyz
• Gustavo Bruzual – Astronomer at the National Autonomous University of Mexico
• Bryan Miller – Astronomer at the Gemini Observatory
• John Hibbard – Scientist at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville
• Tom Richtler – Research Scientist at the Center for Astrophysics and Related Technologies (CATA) in Concepcion
• Mario Abadi – Astronomer at the Astronomical Observatory of the National University of Cordoba, Argentina
• Ricardo Acevedo – Q&A manager, outreach team IA
• Carol Rojas – Q&A manager, head of outreach Las Campanas Observatory

#goldenwebinars #IAPUC #AstroUC #astronomy #science #universe #galaxies #spirals #ellipticals #hierarchical #merging #spectroscopy #stellarpopulations

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