Galaxy formation and evolution research at the Institute covers normal galaxies, quasars and the inter-galactic medium in the local volume out to the highest redshifts possible using observations over most of the electro-magnetic spectrum. The research is primarily observationally driven and we make use of many international ground- and space-based telescopes.
Members of the Institute are members of a number of major international observational survey projects such as UKIDSS, VISTA surveys (VHS, VIDEO, VIKING), the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), the Dark Energy Survey (DES) and also current satellites such as Herschel, Spitzer and the Hubble Space telescope.
Locating “reionization” – finding the epoch ~0.5 billion years, when light from the first stars split interstellar hydrogen atoms into protons and electrons
Gravitational lensing is used to determine the masses of lensing galaxies and clusters and to study more distant galaxies that can be magnified by a factor of more than 20.
By studying high redshift galaxies, we can learn about the evolution of galaxies throughout the history of the Universe.
The intergalactic medium (IGM) and not galaxies contain most of the baryons (e.g. H, He, C, N, O) in the Universe. We use spectroscopic observations of high redshift backgound quasars to study this material.
Quasars are the most luminous objects in the Universe and powered by accreting supermassive black holes in the centres of galaxies.