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Prof. Judith Irwin

Queen's University

Date of Live Presentation: Fri, 09-Feb-2018
Location: University of Manitoba


Feedback, Flares, Fountains and Flows -- How Galaxies Refuse to Sit Still


Galaxies used to be called `Island Universes' to distinguish them from our own Milky Way with its myriad stars and nebulae. But they are far from that. New data are revealing that spiral galaxies are venting material into their halos, forming super-galactic ecosystems. Just how this occurs is still a subject of debate, but a key ingredient appears to be the magnetic fields that thread the region and may even connect to broader-scale intergalactic fields. From inflows to outflows, the agitated spirals are no longer `islands' but active, dynamic systems that refuse to sit still.

Short bio

Judith Irwin is Professor in the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, where she has been since 1991. Prior to that, she held a Research Associateship at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics with the JCMT (James Clerk Maxwell Telescope) group in Ottawa. Her PhD (Astronomy) was with the University of Toronto, her MSc with the University of Victoria (Astrophysics), and BSc at the University of Winnipeg (Mathematics). In the mix were several years as a full time physics lab instructor at UBC Okanagan (then Okanagan College) and three years running Alberta's Mobile Planetarium which operated out of the Provincial Museum of Alberta. Her research focuses on nearby galaxies and the disk-halo connection.

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