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Astro2020 Science White Paper: Construction of an L* Galaxy: the Transformative Power of Wide Fields for Revealing the Past, Present and Future of the Great Andromeda System

Gilbert, KM, Tollerud, EJ, Anderson, J, Beaton, RL, Bell, EF, Brooks, A, Brown, TM, Bullock, J, Carlin, JL, Collins, M, Cooper, A, Crnojevic, D, Dalcanton, J, Pino, AD, D'Souza, R, Escala, I, Fardal, M, Font, AS, Geha, M, Guhathakurta, P , Kirby, E, Lewis, GF, Marshall, JL, Martin, NF, McQuinn, K, Monachesi, A, Patel, E, Peeples, MS, Pillepich, A, Quirk, ACN, Rich, RM, Sohn, ST, Ting, Y-S, Marel, RPVD, Wetzel, A, Williams, BF and Wojno, J Astro2020 Science White Paper: Construction of an L* Galaxy: the Transformative Power of Wide Fields for Revealing the Past, Present and Future of the Great Andromeda System. Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society. ISSN 0002-7537 (Accepted)

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Abstract

The Great Andromeda Galaxy (M31) is the nexus of the near-far galaxy evolution connection and a principal data point for near-field cosmology. Due to its proximity (780 kpc), M31 can be resolved into individual stars like the Milky Way (MW). Unlike the MW, we have the advantage of a global view of M31, enabling M31 to be observed with techniques that also apply to more distant galaxies. Moreover, recent evidence suggests that M31 may have survived a major merger within the last several Gyr, shaping the morphology of its stellar halo and triggering a starburst, while leaving the stellar disk largely intact. The MW and M31 thus provide complementary opportunities for in-depth studies of the disks, halos, and satellites of L* galaxies. Our understanding of the M31 system will be transformed in the 2020s if they include wide field facilities for both photometry (HST-like sensitivity and resolution) and spectroscopy (10-m class telescope, >1 sq. deg. field, highly multiplexed, R~ 3000 to 6000). We focus here on the power of these facilities to constrain the past, present, and future merger history of M31, via chemo-dynamical analyses and star formation histories of phase-mixed stars accreted at early times, as well as stars in surviving tidal debris features, M31's extended disk, and intact satellite galaxies that will eventually be tidally incorporated into the halo. This will yield an unprecedented view of the hierarchical formation of the M31 system and the subhalos that built it into the L* galaxy we observe today.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: astro-ph.GA; astro-ph.GA
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Amercian Astronomical Society
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Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2019 10:37
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2019 10:45
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11374

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