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Exploring evolutionary links between dwarf galaxy types using distant Local Group late-type dwarfs

Objective

Dwarf galaxies play a key role in our understanding of galaxy formation and evolution as they are the most numerous kind of galaxies in the Universe and they are also potentially powerful dark matter probes.
Our understanding of this galaxy population and of the processes that drive its evolution is limited, mainly because a detailed observational picture of the properties of the various types of dwarf galaxies is lacking.
We do not know whether the various types of dwarf galaxies originated from different formation processes, or whether they shared similar progenitors, and environmental effects and/or internal processes caused the observed differences in their properties.

In the Local Group we can study in great detail the two main types of dwarf galaxies, those that contain gas (dwarf irregulars, dIs, still forming stars, and transition types, dTs, with no current star formation) and those devoid of gas (dwarf spheroidals, dSphs).

This project aims to provide a leap forward in our knowledge of distant dIs and dTs and their relation to the well-studied nearby dSphs. For the first time the wide-area spatial distribution of stellar populations, metallicity and kinematic properties will be derived for stars covering a wide age range in a sample of isolated dIs and dTs. This will be done to a similar degree of detail and using the same tracers as for dSphs.
Furthermore, by studying isolated dwarf galaxies, environmental and internal effects as main evolutionary drivers will be disentangled.

With the expertise of Prof.Dr.M.Tosi and her group, the applicant will be trained in complementary observational and theoretical approaches; in extracting and modeling star formation and chemical enrichment histories, dark matter mass content and distribution; and exploring the relation between the kinematic properties of the gas and the stars.

The proposed project and training will greatly benefit the development of the applicant's future career.

Call for proposal

FP7-PEOPLE-2010-IEF
See other projects for this call

Coordinator

ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI ASTROFISICA
Address
Viale Del Parco Mellini 84
00136 Roma
Italy
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 187 612
Administrative Contact
Giovanni Zamorani (Prof.)