Galaxy Formation and Evolution Group

Line coordinator:

Astrophysics Department (CAB ESAC)

Group specialising in the astrophysical research area “Formation and evolution of galaxies” focusing on studies of galaxies of different types observed throughout the history of the Universe. These studies are based on data obtained with ground-based and space telescopes optimised for X-ray, optical, infrared and millimetre. The group is also heavily involved in astronomical instrumentation technology projects both in space and on the ground.

The team develops two lines of work:

1) Scientific research

The team’s research provides a global insight into the processes of galaxy formation and evolution throughout the history of the Universe, from the earliest to the most recent times. The fundamental goal of the group is to investigate the key mechanisms that determine the formation and evolution of galaxies: galactic interactions/mergers, superwinds (feedback), nuclear activity and star formation. This is based on the characterisation of the observable ingredients in galaxies of different types and the interrelationship between them: the stars, the interstellar medium (ionised, neutral, molecular gas) and the supermassive black hole. These studies rely on the use of state-of-the-art astronomical instrumentation covering a large part of the electromagnetic spectrum: ground- and space-based telescopes optimised in the optical and infrared (Gran Telescopio Canarias, Very Large Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope), X-ray satellites (XMM-Newton, Suzaku) and radio telelescopes (IRAM, ATCA).

2) Technological activity

The group is involved in astronomical instrumentation developments as part of several international projects of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). They include participation in the scientific and calibration groups of the MIRI and NIRSpec instruments of the Telescopio Espacial James Webb (JWST), in the team responsible for the development of HARMONI, the first-light instrument for the European Extremely Large Telescope (EELT) and in the scientific working teams of the X-ray missions LOFT, an ESA M-class mission candidate, and Athena+, an ESA L-class mission candidate.

Members | Researchers