NMSUAstronomy

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Sebastian Trujillo

Research Assistant
Entered: 2007
Office: 101 Astronomy
Phone: (575)646-4438
Fax: (575)646-1602
 
E-mail: st
(append "@nmsu.edu")
 
Photo
M.S.City University of New York,2007
B.S. SUNY Stony Brook, 2004

Research

I began my graduate studies at NMSU in Fall 2007, working with Dr. Anatoly Klypin in the extragalactic research group on modeling the formation and evolution of galaxies. My primary interest is in the field of cosmology, though I am also quite fascinated by topics as diverse as extrasolar planets, gamma ray bursts, and supermassive black holes.

In the Spring of 2008 I began working on a new research project with Dr. Klypin and Dr. Holtzman. The project was aimed at constraining cosmological models by studying a large homogeneous sample of galaxies in the nearby Virgo cluster. This was done using the first direct determination of the galaxy circular velocity function using a sample galaxies comprising the very low mass end of the galaxy mass function.

This fall I will publish the results of a project on the spatial and dynamical properties of substructure obtained from high resolution cosmological N-body simulations. In this work Dr. Klypin and I focused on the halo circular velocity distribution, number density profiles and angular momentum correlations as a function of halo size and spatial distribution. In particular, smaller simulation volumes were used to disentangle the effects of tidal stripping and numerical resolution on the low mass end of the halo distribution. As a way to obtain some insight into the complex process of galaxy formation, we are developing a simple model for populating our simulated dark matter halos with galaxies. This scheme may help link the observed relationship between luminosity and total mass distribution (e.g. Tully-Fisher, Faber-Jackson, etc.) to the formation of structure in the LambdaCDM cosmology. This sample of modeled galaxies is also very useful for comparing with several observational probes of the mass distribution in the universe. Next year we hope to continue this work with a follow-up that will incorporate the merging histories of the dark matter haloes and the redshift evolution of the halo distribution and the associated galaxies.

In 2010, I began work on contructing a self-consistent model of the Milky Way using hydrodynamical simulations. Incorporating the observed structure of the galaxy, this model attempted to produce a halo gas distribution that incorporates inflow and outflow and is stable enough to reproduce the star formation history and distribution observed in the disk.


An image from a Utah Skies Report showing the nearby Virgo cluster of galaxies.