Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists to throw light on how galaxies formed in the early Universe

23.12.2008
UK scientists, led by Dr Mark Lacy who is soon to join the University of Southampton, have been successful in obtaining one of the largest-ever awards of observing time on a space-based observatory - a total of 1400 hours on NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The observing time will be used to obtain a complete picture of how galaxies formed and evolved in the early Universe.

The Spitzer Extragalactic Representative Volume Survey (SERVS) aims to chart the distribution of stars and black holes from when the Universe was less than a billion years old to the present day. It will use Spitzer's Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) to make a very large map of the sky, capable of detecting extremely faint galaxies.

The combination of sensitivity of the equipment and the size of the area mapped by SERVS is unprecedented, making it likely to be the benchmark near-infrared survey for the next decade. The sensitivity means that the scientists will be able to detect moderately massive galaxies when the Universe was less than 8 per cent of its current age, while the wide area means that formation processes can be studied in the context of the underlying distribution of `dark' matter.

The sky regions in the survey were chosen to coincide with those that will be observed through deep imaging from the Herschel Space Observatory, the SCUBA-2 camera on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii, and from the Vista Deep Extragalactic Observations survey (VIDEO). The combination of data from each of these facilities over a wide range in wavelength will give scientists a complete picture of how galaxies evolve, with no part of the formation process 'hidden' because of the effects of dust obscuration.

Dr Mark Lacy explains: "This mid-infrared survey fills a crucial gap in wavelength between the large near-infrared surveys being conducted by UK-based teams, and the far-infrared surveys to be conducted by Herschel and SCUBA-2. It will allow us to study the formation and evolution of massive galaxies like our own Milky Way in a truly representative volume of the Universe for the first time."

Mark, who is currently based at the California Institute of Technology, joins the University of Southampton as a Reader in extragalactic astronomy in September 2009.

Co-investigators include Duncan Farrah and Seb Oliver from the University of Sussex, and Matt Jarvis at the University of Hertfordshire. Other UK institutions involved include Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College, Portsmouth and Durham. In all there are 47 investigators, of which 25 are from the UK.

The project also represents a success for the newly-formed South East Physics Network (SEPNET) which includes the Universities of Southampton, Sussex, Portsmouth and Oxford.

Dr Matt Jarvis, University of Hertfordshire, adds: "The combination of SERVS and VIDEO will allow us to make the definitive study of how galaxies grow over the history of the Universe. However, the major improvement over past surveys is the combination of depth and area, allowing us to carry out these studies over both the densest and sparsest regions of the Universe. This will enable us to build up a picture of how galaxy formation and evolution is affected by the environment in which the galaxies reside."

Sue Wilson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.soton.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht A better way to weigh millions of solitary stars
15.12.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht A chip for environmental and health monitoring
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>