Major galaxies like our Milky Way are surrounded by swarms of smaller satellite galaxies. Our leading cosmological models predict that the distribution and motion of such satellites should be rather random. Instead, several observed systems show surprising degrees of order: the satellites are preferentially distributed and move along flattened structures. These ‘Planes of Satellite Galaxies’ fundamentally challenge our understanding of cosmology and galaxy formation. I will study systems of satellite galaxies in a range of cosmological simulations, to determine the occurrence, properties, and origins of satellite planes, and determine whether they can tell us something about the properties of the host galaxy or the nature of Dark Matter.
The KT Boost Fund will help me widen the scope of my work on satellite galaxy systems and their phase-space correlations, enabling a more comprehensive study into this topic than possible thus far. For example, it provides me with the necessary independence to not only focus on the established cold dark matter paradigm, but also investigate alternative dark matter models. In addition, it will support several novel aspects that are not easily funded by traditional means. This includes a hackathon-like workshop to bring together experts in different fields to develop and work on collaborative projects, and professionally produced outreach materials to support my passion for science communication and the dissemination of my results.
… would work on my photography, especially on editing the many photos I collected in the past years. I became quite active in street photography during my time in the United States – an excellent way to discover and document both the exceptional and the ordinary in everyday life – but accumulated a substantial backlog of photos which deserve to be properly edited and turned into a publication or exhibition. Of course I’d also love to get back to actually taking more pictures, both around home as well as on trips, and to find more time to study my ever-increasing library of photo books.
Name: Dr. Marcel S. Pawlowski
Research field: Astronomy/Astrophysics
Institution: Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam
LinkedIn: Dr. Marcel S. Pawlowski