Everything you wanted to know about galaxies but were afraid to ask... In this course, we will study the rich variety of galaxy properties in the local universe, including morphologies, luminosities, dynamics, stellar populations, masses, scaling relations and more. Along the way, the stellar, gaseous, and dark contents of galaxies will be examined. We will zoom in on the Milky Way, in terms of its structure, stellar contents, rotation curve, center, and possible formation scenarios. We will also discuss the evolution of stellar populations and chemical enrichment in galaxies. Time allowing, we will sample from the fields of active galaxies, galaxy mergers, and the large-scale structure of galaxies in the universe. Finally, we will end the course with observations of galaxy evolution at cosmological lookback time.
The 10-page literature review will be on a topic of the student's choice, drawn from or related to the syllabus of the course. These papers will give you a chance to delve more deeply into one of the topics or questions covered in class, or on a subject closely related. In the course of summarizing the background, current status, and open questions in your topic of choice, I would like you to read and review several journal articles. Here is a list of possible paper topics. I will add to this list as the quarter continues. Please come see me about your paper topic sometime before mid-February (3-4 weeks before due date). Here is a gzipped tar file containing a sample latex file for your paper, along with some files for getting bibtex set up.