Event Details

Observational Properties of Simulated Galaxies: Computational Cosmology as Seen through a Telescope

Connor Bottrell

Connor Bottrell
Jan 17, 2018

Special Astrophysics Seminar

MSI Conference Room

The most recent generations of large-volume cosmological hydrodynamical simulations are valuable instruments for understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies. However, the crux of the interpretive power for such simulations is fundamentally in whether they can reproduce the observed properties of galaxies. Furthermore, it is crucial that any comparison between simulated and real galaxies is fair. To facilitate a valid comparison, simulated galaxies must adopt the observational biases that affect galaxies seen in the real Universe. I put galaxies from the Illustris simulation directly in the context of observational galaxy astronomy using an unprecedentedly rigorous suite of observational realism in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Parametric photometry and structural analysis of simulated galaxies with observational realism are performed using the same pipeline that was used in the analysis of 1.12 million real galaxies in the SDSS — which collectively forms the comparison sample. In this talk, I will discuss promising similarities along with intriguing contrasts between real and simulated galaxy populations. With major Intregral Field Spectroscopic surveys such as SAMI and MaNGA defining new frontiers in observational galaxy astronomy, the completeness with which simulated galaxies may be benchmarked against observations has never been better.