Monthly Talk: Tracing the enrichment of the Universe with Gamma Ray Bursts

On Wednesday 30th November at 7:30pm, Bath Astronomers have a talk by Dr Patricia Schady of the University of Bath. Dr Schady is a lecturer at the University.

Tracing the build up of metals not only internally within a galaxy, but also with redshift, is a powerful diagnostic of the principal processes driving stellar and galaxy evolution. With the successful launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) on Christmas day 2021, we are now significantly extending our reach of the observable Universe to just 1 Gyr after the Big Bang. However, even with JWST, our observations remain biased towards the most luminous and star forming galaxies, skewing our view of the chemical enrichment of the Universe to the <20% of baryons that reside within star forming regions.

An alternative, sensitive probe of the chemical enrichment of galaxies is through the detection in absorption of prominent hydrogen and metal lines on the spectra of luminous, background quasi-stellar objects (QSOs), and more recently also gamma ray bursts (GRBs). In this talk I will summarise the power of using GRBs to study the enrichment of high-z galaxies, and I hope to show results from my PI program of the first GRB host galaxy emission spectra taken with JWST, offering a first glimpse at the relation between the chemical enrichment of galaxy disks as seen through emission and absorption line studies.

The venue for the talk is the Herschel Museum of Astronomy, 19 New King Street, Bath, BA1 2BL.