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Stars and gas in the local universe: clues to galaxy formation & evolution

Stars and gas in the local universe: clues to galaxy formation & evolution

Objective

My proposed research aims to constrain the processes of galaxy formation and evolution through a series of detailed observational studies of star formation and stellar populations in our local Universe. I will conduct a search for recent massive star formation within a sample of gas-rich elliptical galaxies, allowing the first quantitative estimates of the frequency, rates and distributions of star formation within these systems, and providing a key test of popular star formation prescriptions under rather diverse physical conditions. Newly-discovered HII regions will be used to probe the chemical content of the gas in these ellipticals, and hence shed light on its origin. The second project involves mining the 'fossil record' of past star formation and galaxy evolution in a small sample of our nearest large neighbors. This work will investigate issues such as the youth of outer galactic disks and prevalence of stellar substructure in galactic halos, both of which will serve as valuable tests of current galaxy formation models. I will work with theorists at the MPA on the integration of theoretical ideas and these new observational constraints in order to refine our understanding of the processes which shape galaxy formation & evolution. As a sideline to my main research, I also plan to collaborate with MPA staff on the interpretation of star formation rates and chemical abundances in distant galaxies, as derived from their analysis of integrated SDSS and EDCS spectra.

Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Coordinator

MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN E.V.

Address

Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 1
85748 Garching

Germany

Administrative Contact

Wolfgang HILLEBRANDT (Professor Dr.)

Project information

Grant agreement ID: HPMF-CT-2002-01758

  • Start date

    1 April 2002

  • End date

    31 March 2004

Funded under:

FP5-HUMAN POTENTIAL

  • Overall budget:

    € 139 800

  • EU contribution

    € 139 800

Coordinated by:

MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN E.V.

Germany