Traces of Galaxy Formation: Stellar populations, Dynamics and Morphology

    General
    Description

    Welcome to the Traces of Galaxy Formation research group website.

    We are a large, diverse, and very active research group aiming to provide a comprehensive picture for the formation of galaxies in the Universe. Rooted in detailed stellar population analysis, we are constantly exploring and developing new tools and ideas to understand how galaxies came to be what we now observe.

    A complex star formation history, as the one expected to describe galaxy evolution, needs a multidisciplinary approach to be fully understood. Our group at the IAC consists of experienced researchers in cosmological simulations, dynamical studies, stellar populations and morphological properties of galaxies up to high redshift. We combine different approaches (e.g. observations and theory, secular and cosmological evolution studies) to obtain a complete view of the dominant mechanisms driving the evolution of galaxies.

    Within this general framework, we are currently exploring three main areas of research:

    1. Stellar population synthesis models
      • Development of new stellar population synthesis models
      • Stellar population analysis tools
      • Universality of the stellar initial mass function (IMF)
       
    2. Cosmic evolution of galaxies
      • Massive galaxy evolution
      • Stellar populations in different environments
      • Low surface brightness science
      • Machine learning and cosmological simulations
       
    3. Evolutionary processes in nearby galaxies
      • The role of black holes in the evolution of galaxies
      • Surveys of nearby galaxies
      • Stellar kinematics and dynamical models

    If you want to get in contact or work with us, please send an email to the head of the group (Ignacio Martín-Navarro ignacio.martin [at] iac.es).

    Here you can find some of our most recent highlights:

    Related publications

    • The mass of our Galaxy from satellite proper motions in the Gaia era

      We use Gaia DR2 systemic proper motions of 45 satellite galaxies to constrain the mass of the Milky Way using the scale-free mass estimator of Watkins et al. (2010). We first determine the anisotropy parameter β, and the tracer satellites' radial density index γ to be β = $-0.67^{+0.45}_{-0.62}$ and γ = 2.11 ± 0.23. When we exclude possible former

      Fritz, T. K. et al.

      Advertised on:

      4
      2020
      Citations
      44
    • Sub one per cent mass fractions of young stars in red massive galaxies

      Early-type galaxies are considered to be the end products of massive galaxy formation1. Optical spectroscopic studies reveal that massive early-type galaxies formed the bulk of their stars over short timescales (≲?1 Gyr) and at high redshift (z ≳? 2), followed by passive evolution to the present2. However, their optical spectra are unable to

      Salvador-Rusiñol, Núria et al.

      Advertised on:

      2
      2020
      Citations
      35
    • Surface brightness fluctuation spectra to constrain stellar population properties

      We present a new set of surface brightness fluctuation (SBF) spectra computed with the E-MILES stellar population synthesis models. The model SBF spectra cover the range λλ1680-50 000 at moderately high resolution, all based on extensive empirical stellar libraries. The models span the metallicity range -2.3≤ [M/H] ≤ +0.26 for a suite of intial

      Vazdekis, A. et al.

      Advertised on:

      4
      2020
      Citations
      4
    • The X-shooter Spectral Library (XSL): Data release 2

      We present the second data release (DR2) of the X-shooter Spectral Library (XSL), which contains all the spectra obtained over the six semesters of that program. This release supersedes our first data release from Chen et al. (2014, A&A, 565, A117), with a larger number of spectra (813 observations of 666 stars) and with a more extended wavelength

      Gonneau, A. et al.

      Advertised on:

      2
      2020
      Citations
      55
    • A physically motivated definition for the size of galaxies in an era of ultradeep imaging

      Present-day multiwavelength deep imaging surveys allow to characterize the outskirts of galaxies with unprecedented precision. Taking advantage of this situation, we define a new physically motivated measurement of size for galaxies based on the expected location of the gas density threshold for star formation. Employing both theoretical and

      Trujillo, Ignacio et al.

      Advertised on:

      3
      2020
      Citations
      53
    • Globular cluster ejection, infall, and the host dark matter halo of the Pegasus dwarf galaxy

      Recent photometric observations revealed a massive, extended (MGC ≳ 105 M☉; Rh ̃ 14 pc) globular cluster (GC) in the central region (D3D ≲ 100 pc) of the low-mass (M* ̃ 5 × 106 M☉) dwarf irregular galaxy Pegasus. This massive GC offers a unique opportunity to study star cluster inspiral as a mechanism for building up nuclear star clusters, and the

      Leaman, Ryan et al.

      Advertised on:

      3
      2020
      Citations
      11
    • A hydrodynamical study of outflows in starburst galaxies with different driving mechanisms

      Outflows from starburst galaxies can be driven by thermal pressure, radiation, and cosmic rays. We present an analytic phenomenological model that accounts for these contributions simultaneously to investigate their effects on the hydrodynamical properties of outflows. We assess the impact of energy injection, wind opacity, magnetic field strength

      Yu, B. P. Brian et al.

      Advertised on:

      3
      2020
      Citations
      23
    • A few StePS forward in unveiling the complexity of galaxy evolution: light-weighted stellar ages of intermediate-redshift galaxies with WEAVE

      Context. The upcoming new generation of optical spectrographs on four-meter-class telescopes, with their huge multiplexing capabilities, excellent spectral resolution, and unprecedented wavelength coverage, will provide invaluable information for reconstructing the history of star formation in individual galaxies up to redshifts of about 0.7. Aims

      Costantin, L. et al.

      Advertised on:

      12
      2019
      Citations
      18
    • Stellar populations of galaxies in the ALHAMBRA survey up to z ̃ 1. IV. Properties of quiescent galaxies on the stellar mass-size plane

      Aims: We perform a comprehensive study of the stellar population properties (formation epoch, age, metallicity, and extinction) of quiescent galaxies as a function of size and stellar mass to constrain the physical mechanism governing the stellar mass assembly and the likely evolutive scenarios that explain their growth in size. Methods: After

      Díaz-García, L. A. et al.

      Advertised on:

      11
      2019
      Citations
      14
    • Galaxy sizes and the galaxy-halo connection - I. The remarkable tightness of the size distributions

      The mass and structural assembly of galaxies is a matter of intense debate. Current theoretical models predict the existence of a linear relationship between galaxy size (Re) and the host dark matter halo virial radius (Rh). By making use of semi-empirical models compared to the size distributions of central galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky

      Zanisi, Lorenzo et al.

      Advertised on:

      2
      2020
      Citations
      29
    • The Fornax Deep Survey (FDS) with VST. VI. Optical properties of the dwarf galaxies in the Fornax cluster (Corrigendum)
      Venhola, Aku et al.

      Advertised on:

      1
      2020
      Citations
      1
    • The Sloan Digital Sky Survey extended point spread functions

      A robust and extended characterization of the point spread function (PSF) is crucial to extract the photometric information produced by deep imaging surveys. Here, we present the extended PSFs of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), one of the most productive astronomical surveys of all time. By stacking ̃1000 images of individual stars with

      Infante-Sainz, Raúl et al.

      Advertised on:

      2
      2020
      Citations
      38
    • SDSS-IV MaStar: A Large and Comprehensive Empirical Stellar Spectral Library—First Release

      We present the first release of the MaNGA Stellar Library (MaStar), which is a large, well-calibrated, high-quality empirical library covering the wavelength range 3622-10354 Å at a resolving power of R ̃ 1800. The spectra were obtained using the same instrument as used by the Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory (MaNGA) project, by

      Yan, Renbin et al.

      Advertised on:

      10
      2019
      Citations
      76
    • Secondary Infall in the Seyfert’s Sextet: A Plausible Way Out of the Short Crossing Time Paradox

      We used integral field spectroscopy from CALIFA DR3 and multiwavelength publicly available data to investigate the star formation histories of galaxies in the Seyfert’s Sextet (SS; HCG 79). The galaxies H79a, H79b, H79c, and H79f have low star formation rates despite showing strong signs of interaction. By exploring their individual specific star

      López-Cruz, Omar et al.

      Advertised on:

      11
      2019
      Citations
      2
    • Stellar populations of galaxies in the ALHAMBRA survey up to z ̃ 1. III. The stellar content of the quiescent galaxy population during the last 8 Gyr

      Aims: We aim at constraining the stellar population properties of quiescent galaxies. These properties reveal how these galaxies evolved and assembled since z ̃ 1 up to the present time. Methods: Combining the ALHAMBRA multi-filter photo-spectra with the fitting code for spectral energy distribution MUFFIT (MUlti-Filter FITting), we built a

      Díaz-García, L. A. et al.

      Advertised on:

      11
      2019
      Citations
      13
    • Are ultra-diffuse galaxies Milky Way-sized?

      Now almost 70 years since its introduction, the effective or half-light radius has become a very popular choice for characterising galaxy size. However, the effective radius measures the concentration of light within galaxies and thus does not capture our intuitive definition of size which is related to the edge or boundary of objects. For this

      Chamba, N. et al.

      Advertised on:

      1
      2020
      Citations
      29
    • Insights into formation scenarios of massive early-type galaxies from spatially resolved stellar population analysis in CALIFA

      We perform spatially resolved stellar population analysis for a sample of 69 early-type galaxies (ETGs) from the CALIFA integral field spectroscopic survey, including 48 ellipticals and 21 S0's. We generate and quantitatively characterize profiles of light-weighted mean stellar age and metallicity within ≲2Re, as a function of radius and stellar

      Zibetti, Stefano et al.

      Advertised on:

      1
      2020
      Citations
      48
    • Photometry of high-redshift blended galaxies using deep learning

      The new generation of deep photometric surveys requires unprecedentedly precise shape and photometry measurements of billions of galaxies to achieve their main science goals. At such depths, one major limiting factor is the blending of galaxies due to line-of-sight projection, with an expected fraction of blended galaxies of up to 50 per cent. This

      Boucaud, Alexandre et al.

      Advertised on:

      1
      2020
      Citations
      38
    • The CALIFA view on stellar angular momentum across the Hubble sequence

      We present the apparent stellar angular momentum over the optical extent of 300 galaxies across the Hubble sequence using integral-field spectroscopic (IFS) data from the CALIFA survey. Adopting the same λR parameter previously used to distinguish between slow and fast rotating early-type (elliptical and lenticular) galaxies, we show that spiral

      Falcón-Barroso, J. et al.

      Advertised on:

      12
      2019
      Citations
      38
    • Stellar populations of galaxies in the ALHAMBRA survey up to z ̃ 1. II. Stellar content of quiescent galaxies within the dust-corrected stellar mass-colour and the UVJ colour-colour diagrams

      Aims: Our aim is to determine the distribution of stellar population parameters (extinction, age, metallicity, and star formation rates) of quiescent galaxies within the rest-frame stellar mass-colour diagrams and UVJ colour-colour diagrams corrected for extinction up to z ̃ 1. These novel diagrams reduce the contamination in samples of quiescent

      Díaz-García, L. A. et al.

      Advertised on:

      11
      2019
      Citations
      24

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