School of Physical and Chemical Sciences Te Kura Matū Seminar Series

The circumgalactic gaseous environment of the Milky Way and other galaxies


Philipp Richter


University of Potsdam, Erskine Fellow at UC

Time & Place

Wed, 27 Feb 2019 12:00:00 NZDT in Ernest Rutherford 225

All are welcome


The Milky Way is surrounded by large amounts of diffuse gaseous matter that connects the stellar body of our Galaxy with its large-scale Local Group environment. To characterize the absorption properties of this circumgalactic medium (CGM) we have constructed the so-far largest survey of ultraviolet absorption features of the Milky Way CGM, based on the analysis of several hundred HST/COS spectra. In this talk I will present the main results of this survey and discuss the spatial distribution of the gas and its physical properties in the context of the evolution of the Milky Way and other Local Group members. In addition, I will provide a comparison between the Milky-Way CGM and circumgalactic gas around other low- and high-redshift galaxies.

All Welcome


Philipp is leading the extragalactic research group at the University of Potsdam. In his group, they are using the method of absorption spectroscopy in the UV and in the optical regime to study the amount and distribution of hydrogen and metal ions inside and outside of galaxies at all redshifts. They are complementing the absorption-line measurements with emission observations in the radio, X-ray and optical regime. They are also using state-of-the art numerical hydrodynamical simulations that they use to compare with the results from the observations.

Among Philipp’s many duties at Potsdam he is currently acting as:

  •  DFG liaison officer of the University of Potsdam
  • Head of master program astrophysics
  • Head of the Research Initiative Astrophysics
  • Institute's representative in the PhD panel of our faculty


Personal web page:  Philipp Richter,
Institute's web page: University of Potsdam