The assembly history of galaxies resolved in space and time

Abell 2744, Hubble Frontier Fields.
A view of the galaxy cluster Abell 2744, in the Hubble Frontier Fields.
Crédits: NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz, M. Mountain, A. Koekemoer, and the HFF Team (STScI).

The Extragalactic Research Group at the IA aims to provide a major contribution to advancing our knowledge on how galaxies form and evolve across cosmic time. This is one of the main goals of modern Astronomy, simultaneously driven by the availability of observing facilities with unprecedented capabilities and driving the development of the next generation of telescopes and instrumentation. Our current models of galaxy formation and evolution clearly show us where our understanding is most lacking and which are the areas where a bigger research effort is required. Two of the most important challenges we face are a) detecting and understanding the observational signatures of the first powerful supermassive black holes in the Universe, and how these influence galaxy and structure formation from the earliest epochs of the Universe, and b) understanding the formation of galaxies and their structural components.

A number of parallel projects carried out by the team focuses on

  • The first super-massive black holes at the Epoch of the Reionization
  • The assembly history of galaxies and the physical drivers of inside-out star formation quenching
  • The origin and implications of starburst activity in galaxies
  • The role of the environment in galaxy evolution
  • The faint end of the galaxy luminosity function: ultra-faint dwarf galaxies

The team’s research in these fields is supported by IA’s participation with leadership roles in the instrument consortia of MOONS@VLT, BlueMUSE@VLT MOSAIC@ELT of ESO and ESA missions with key importance for the Group’s scientific objectives (Euclid, Athena), the IA-led Key Science Project “Radio AGN in the Epoch of Reionization” in ASKAP’s Evolutionary Map of the Universe survey, as well as the parallel development of highly optimized spectral modeling and machine learning tools for the analysis of multi-wavelength data for galaxies near and far.