Making use of an Infrared Array Camera on NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the Spitzer Extragalactic Representative Volume Survey (SERVS) will make a very large map of the sky, capable of detecting extremely faint galaxies.
The primary aim is to chart the distribution of stars and black holes from when the Universe was less than a billion years old to the present day.
The survey is one of the largest ever awards of observing time on a space-based observatory - a total of 1400 hours.
The project leader, Dr Mark Lacy, currently at the Spitzer Science Center at Caltech, but soon to move to the University of Southampton, says "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."
Dr Duncan Farrah at the University of Sussex, whose work is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, says "This is likely to be the benchmark near-infrared survey for the next decade. The great depth of the SERVS data means we can detect moderately massive galaxies when the Universe was less than 8% of its current age. The combination of the SERVS data with data from the Herschel spacecraft (launch April 2009) also means we can see both relatively old, evolved stars, and young, dust-shrouded bursts of star formation. We will thus obtain a complete picture of how galaxies are assembled in the early Universe."
The combination of sensitivity and area mapped by SERVS is unprecedented; the sensitivity means that galaxy formation can be studied from when the Universe was very young, while the wide area means that these formation processes can be studied in the context of the underlying distribution of `dark' matter. This power will be enhanced by a careful planned synergy with new observations from other facilities.
The sky regions were carefully chosen to coincide with those that will also have deep imaging from the Herschel Space Observatory, the SCUBA-2 camera on the James Clark Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) and from the VISTA Deep Extragalactic Origins VIDEO survey (see notes). Each of these facilities provides a different perspective on the processes of galaxy formation and each project has a strong level of UK leadership. The combination of data over a wide range in wavelength means we will obtain a complete picture of how these galaxies evolve; no part of the formation process will be 'hidden' due to the effects of dust obscuration.
Dr Seb Oliver at the University of Sussex says "it is fantastic to see major international astronomical facilities both on the ground and in space working in harmony to tackle the fundamental questions of galaxy formation and evolution".
Dr Matt Jarvis at the 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."
Work on the survey is due to start in early 2009 which also sees the start of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009). With the participation of 140 countries worldwide, and with events taking place nationally, regionally and globally throughout the year, IYA2009 will not only allow people to observe first hand some of the amazing celestial bodies that make up our Universe, but will provide a wide variety of events and projects, from touring astronomy exhibitions to virtual blog interactions with practicing astronomers.
Emma Roberts | alfa
Move over, lasers: Scientists can now create holograms from neutrons, too
21.10.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus
20.10.2016 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences