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Cosmological insight from our neighbour, the Andromeda galaxy

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Cosmology can be tested by “near-field” studies. Highlights from our recent Keck spectroscopic survey of Andromeda include (1) a giant extended disk out to 90kpc; (2) an underlying “smooth” metal-poor halo; (3) a rogue dwarf galaxy, And-XII, which appears to be arriving at the Local Group virial radius on its first infall: it is a pristine fossil. These three discoveries are used to discuss near-field cosmological issues: -what is the Dark Matter extent, nature, spatial distribution? -where/what are the missing satellites? -are DM profiles universal? (cuspy NFW ?) -how were MW and M31 constructed: are they typical disks? -what is the role of accretion in forming the halo, disk, bulge?

This talk is part of the Cosmology Lunch series.

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