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COSMASS Report Summary

Project ID: 337595
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Croatia

Mid-Term Report Summary - COSMASS (Constraining Stellar Mass and Supermassive Black Hole Growth through Cosmic Times: Paving the way for the next generation sky surveys)

Understanding how galaxies form in the early universe and their subsequent evolution through cosmic time is a major goal of modern astrophysics. Panchromatic look-back sky surveys significantly advanced the field in the past decade, and we have recently entered an even more fruitful period - a 'golden age' of radio astronomy - with new facilities delivering an order of magnitude increase in sensitivity, such as the Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) and Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

The basis of the ERC project provide two unique, state-of-the-art radio sky surveys with the VLA and ATCA/GMRT that will push to the next frontiers, and reveal the mechanisms that shape galaxies over cosmic time. The ERC project is intended to focus on the growth of stellar and supermassive black-hole mass in galaxies throughout cosmic time by: (A) probing the contribution of various types of galaxies over cosmic time at faint radio levels, revealing the debated abundance of faint radio sources, (B) exploring and understanding star formation conditions at early cosmic times, allowing to access for the first time the dust-unbiased cosmic star formation history since the epoch of reionization, (C) performing the first census of the high-redshift starbursting galaxies, the so-called submillimeter galaxies, and their role in galaxy formation and evolution, and (D) performing a full census of galaxies hosting supermassive black holes (i.e. active galactic nuclei), with different black-hole accretion modes, exploring their roles in galaxy evolution, and their relation to the cosmic star formation history. The exploitation of these radio sky surveys is deemed important for the preparation and success of the future large facilities like ASKAP (Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder).

The project’s implementation within the first reporting (30 month) period is advancing as planned. A research group of seven team members (three postdocs, three PhD students and PI) has been established at the Physics Department, Faculty of Science, Univeristy of Zagreb, and the work performed by the team during the first reporting period resulted in

i) over 800 hours of observations taken with the VLA, ATCA, GMRT, PdBI/NOEMA and ALMA interferometers reduced, imaged, tested and analyzed,

ii) a total of 19 refereed publications in astrophysical journals with over 200 citations already,

iii) four additional papers submitted to Astronomy & Astrophysics (three as part of a special A&A paper series related to the first data and science release of the VLA-COSMOS 3 GHz Large Project – Delvecchio et al., Delhaize et al., Novak et al., and one studying the physical properties of submillimeter galaxies in the COSMOS field – Miettinen et al., paper IV of the SMG galaxy paper series published in A&A),

iv) three verified and tested radio continuum mosaics and source catalogs (ATCA XXL-S Pilot and Full Projects, VLA-COSMOS 3 GHz Large Project) shared internally with the COSMOS and XXL team members (the ATCA XXL-S Pilot Survey products are already publically available, while the those of the remaining surveys are going to be made publically available at the time of data paper publication),

v) dissemination via a) oral or poster presentations at a number of astrophysical meetings, workshops and conferences, b) colloquia at institutes/universities, c) presentations held at Ministry of Science ERC Info days, and EURAXESS Road Show, d) presentations held at Summer Schools for primary and high-school children, and e) TV, radio, magazine, and newspaper interviews.

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