Sarah Loebman joined the Astronomy Department as a new fellow of the University of Michigan Society of Fellows. She graduated from the University of Washington at 2013, with scientific focus on Galactic structure, Milky Way dynamics, N-Body+SPH simulations of galaxies, galactic chemical evolution, & the scientific application of database technology.
"The Milky Way: Simulations and Observations of Galactic Structure in the SDSS Volume"
Recent rapid progress in both observational surveys and simulation science has enabled a new era of direct comparison between the two. In this talk, I will present a comparison between recent Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Galactic studies and N –body simulations to aid in the interpretation of observed structures. I will discuss both the origin of the Galactic thin/thick disk system and the contents of the Galactic halo by drawing comparisons to two high resolution simulations produced using GASOLINE (Wadsley et al., 2004). I will focus on two key questions: (1) What is the plausibility of radial migration as a main driver for shaping the thick disk? and (2) How useful are Jeans equations in deriving properties of the Galactic potential within the SDSS volume? I will discuss several key findings, including my recent measurements of the Milky Way's dark matter axis ratio.