Lecture: 17 February “How Galaxies are Influenced…” by Mehmet Alpaslan, NASA Ames

17 February 2021, Wednesday, Live-streamed via Zoom, YouTube and Facebook

“How Galaxies are Influenced by the Largest Structures in the Universe”


Mehmet Alpaslan, PhD, NASA Ames

When viewed at the largest scales, the distribution of galaxies in the Universe resembles a complex, tangled web: an interconnected network of filaments of galaxies that surround vast, empty voids. Simulations and theory have established that filaments – the largest, most densely populated structures in the Universe – have formed in the billions of years after the Big Bang, and serve as conduits for transporting gas into galaxies, which they then turn into stars.

Thanks to advances in telescope instrumentation the current generation of galaxy surveys is finally able to observe the night sky in sufficient detail to accurately map the Cosmic Web for the first time, and begin to understand the role it plays in influencing the evolutionary fate of galaxies. In this talk, Dr. Alpaslan will review advances in mapping out the filamentary network of the Universe using data from the Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey, as well as discuss some recent advances in understanding how the galaxies that live in dense filament differ from those that exist alone in isolated voids.

Brief Bio

Dr. Alpaslan was a postdoctoral research fellow within the NASA Postdoctoral Program, based at NASA’s Ames Research Center. He subsequently worked as a postdoctoral researcher at NYU’s Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics, before moving out of academia in 2020.

His research focuses primarily on detecting and classifying large scale structures in the Universe (filaments, voids, and clusters) and understanding the role that these, and other environments, play in galaxy evolution and formation. He is also deeply interested in statistics, machine learning and its education, and using data for social good.        

Mehmet received his PhD at the University of St Andrews and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at the University of Western Australia, working with Simon Driver and Aaron Robotham. He obtained his PhD in the summer of 2014, and began his appointment at NASA Ames in July 2014.

How to Attend

To attend the virtual meeting “live” with the opportunity to ask questions:

Connect by 7:30pm on Wednesday, February 17th by clicking this Zoom meeting link: https://zoom.us/j/95830904603?pwd=UDNKdm16US9wK1EremdJeGptdjNNdz09

Clicking the link may prompt you to install the Zoom virtual meeting app. Once installed, you will be able to join the meeting.   If the app is already installed on your device, simply enter the meeting number 958 3090 4603 and password 116064 to join the meeting.

Once joined, you can test your audio and video, and greet other members.

Board members will join the meeting early to help troubleshoot any problems with audio or video. 

Club and welcome announcements will begin at 7:45pm and the lecture will start promptly at 8:00pm.

Alternatively, please visit the following channels to attend the live stream:

SFAA YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChuBJGp_iJYZ11q_ayA-q3A

SFAA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/152754481404310

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