17 May 2022Séminaire – Mike Petersen (IAP)

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A new picture for the Large Magellanic Cloud-Milky Way interaction


Over the past decade, our understanding of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and its relationship to the Milky Way (MW) has undergone a paradigm shift. The LMC now appears to be on the order of 20% of the MW mass. At this mass, the LMC creates large dynamical effects, opening up new avenues for studying the MW in cosmic context, time-dependent dynamics in general, and even the nature of dark matter. I will discuss (1) how the LMC is strongly deforming the MW by displacing the MW stellar disc, (2) how the MW-LMC pair fits in our understanding of hierarchical galaxy assembly, and (3) what the LMC can tell us about terrestrial searches for dark matter. I will also present the theoretical tools driving the science, including methods for flexibly parameterising time-dependent dynamics.