More Comments about the Conference in Malaysia
I just wanted to give my two cents about the conference in Malaysia. As Steven mentioned, we attended the “Galaxy Evolution and Environment” conference in Kuala Lumpur at the beginning of April. It was a pretty large conference, with more than fifty speakers and more than fifty posters. There were a few common themes: environmental processes in galaxy clusters, the morphological evolution of galaxies in different environments, the growth of the red (color-luminosity) sequence, dusty star-forming galaxies, post-starburst galaxies, the role of galaxy mergers, differences between galaxy groups and clusters, and others. Most people presented new (or even cutting-edge!) results, and there were a few lively debates, such as about the effect of the small-scale and large-scale environment on certain types of galaxies. I think it would have been better if we had more time to discuss this and other issues (such as the differences between galaxy groups and true clusters), but we’ll leave that for the next conference…
Steven and I both gave talks, one after the other, about our recent Galaxy Zoo papers. People at the conference seemed to be excited about our results, and looking forward to what we all do next with the Galaxy Zoo. Read on for a description of my talk :
In the first half of my talk, I spoke about the environmental dependence of galaxy color, using the marked correlation functions which I described in my Galaxy Zoo paper. These correlation functions show very clearly how redder galaxies are more strongly clustered than bluer galaxies. I argued that we can explain the environmental dependence of galaxy colors – the fact that red galaxies tend to live in clusters – just from the fact that more massive dark matter halos, which contain these redder galaxies, tend to be found in denser regions of the universe. I also talked about the differences between “central” and “satellite” galaxies in dark matter halos (which was an issue other people also discussed at the conference). Then, in the second half of my talk, I spoke about the environmental dependence of morphology. I showed how elliptical (or “early-type”) galaxies tend to be more strongly clustered than spiral galaxies. Both Steven and I talked about red spiral galaxies in Galaxy Zoo in our talks. I showed the clustering of these galaxies and argued that many of them are satellite galaxies. Our friends from the STAGES survey also talked about “dusty red galaxies” in the outskirts of the galaxy clusters in their survey, and I think these galaxies are definitely related to our red spirals. Anyway, I agree with Steven: it was an excellent conference, with many interesting presentations and debates. You Galaxy “Zooites” are definitely making a contribution to the field. I’m sure we’ll have many more exciting results to show at the next conference.