"Hidden Patterns in Galaxy Motions: What They Can Tell Us About the Universe"
Galaxies move at hundreds of miles per second through space, yet they are so far away, that they appear stationary to us on Earth. However, recent advancements in observing techniques have made it possible to observe the motion of hundreds of thousands of galaxies all across the sky. These observations are revealing complex, streaming and swirling patterns in galaxy motions that are rich in information about our universe's formation and evolution. Specifically, these motions can tell us about the formation of structure in the universe and about primordial gravitational waves. In this talk, I will discuss the emerging field of "real-time cosmology" and how patterns in galaxy motions can be used to study the early universe.
Bio: Rachel is an Astrophysics graduate student at the University of Colorado Boulder. She researches cosmology and the early universe, specifically, what observed galaxy motions can tell us about gravitational waves and the formation of structure in the universe. She began her research career at the Maria Mitchell Observatory in the summer of 2017. At Maria Mitchell, Rachel worked on a project to map the dark matter structure in galaxy clusters using the effects of gravitational lensing. Aside from research, Rachel enjoys undergraduate teaching and is interested in using the principles of Universal Design to develop accessible curriculum. Rachel is committed to mentoring young scientists, and frequently serves as a mentor to women and minority undergraduates.