Our small group is well known and respected internationally for our innovative and important work on various aspects of the structure and evolution of nearby spiral galaxies. We primarily use observations at various wavelengths, exploiting synergies that allow us to answer the most pertinent questions relating to what the main properties of galaxies are, and how galaxies have evolved to their current state. We use imaging and spectroscopy, at UV, optical, infrared, millimetre, and radio wavelengths, fully exploiting observing facilities available to us in Spain, at ESO, or elsewhere, along with state-of-the-art analysis tools. The success of this approach can be measured from the employment opportunities offered to ex-members of the group, from the number and quality of collaborations with leading external scientists, from continued citation of our published work, and from invitations to co-organise or speak at the leading international conferences in the field.
In the last few years our group has put a lot of effort into opening up joint research lines with computer scientists, recognising the paradigm shift that is upon us due to the enormous quantities of data that will soon be produced by facilities such as LSST, Euclid, and SKA. We collaborate with computer scientists and aim to prepare the analysis tools, including detection of structure from noise, correction for scattered light and Galactic cirrus, and the use of machine learning-based techniques, so that once LSST (2020) and Euclid (2023) start releasing their huge data sets, our group is ready to analyse them and extract the science from the oceans of bytes.
- From thermal and non-thermal radio maps of the centre of NGC 1097, we discovered that the massive star formation is quenched by non-thermal effects, including pressure from the magnetic field, cosmic rays and turbulence.
- In the centre of NGC 7742, we found a slightly warped inner disk, and two separate stellar components: an old population that counter-rotates with the gas, and a young one, concentrated to the ring, that co-rotates with the gas.
- We re-analysed our deep IR imaging of thick disks to correct for the extended S4G point spread function (PSF), confirming all our previous results and in particular confirming the significant mass present in the thick disk component.
- Analysing a new high-resolution e-MERLIN 1.5 GHz radio continuum map together with HST and SDSS imaging of NGC 5322, an elliptical galaxy hosting radio jets, we found that the low-luminosity AGN/jet-driven feedback may have quenched the late-time nuclear star formation promptly.
- From MUSE observations of low-surface-brightness Lyman-α emission surrounding faint galaxies at redshifts between 3 and 6 we find that the projected sky coverage approaches 100 per cent.
Launching the VASCO Citizen Science Project
The Vanishing & Appearing Sources during a Century of Observations (VASCO) project investigates astronomical surveys spanning a time interval of 70 years, searching for unusual and exotic transients. We present herein the VASCO Citizen Science Project, which can identify unusual candidates driven by three different approaches: hypothesisLaaksoharju, Mikael et al.
Linking star formation thresholds and truncations in the thin and thick disks of the low-mass galaxy UGC 7321
Thin and thick disks are found in most spiral galaxies, yet their formation scenarios remain uncertain. Whether thick disks form through slow or fast, internal or environmental, processes is unclear. The physical origin of outer truncations in thin and thick disks, observed as a drop in optical and near-infrared (NIR) surface brightness profilesDíaz-García, S. et al.
Cloud-scale radio surveys of star formation and feedback in Triangulum Galaxy M 33: VLA observations
Studying the interplay between massive star formation and the interstellar medium (ISM) is paramount to understand the evolution of galaxies. Radio continuum (RC) emission serves as an extinction-free tracer of both massive star formation and the energetic components of the ISM. We present a multiband RC survey of the Local Group galaxy M 33 downTabatabaei, F. S. et al.
The edges of galaxies: Tracing the limits of star formation
The outskirts of galaxies have been studied from multiple perspectives for the past few decades. However, it is still unknown if all galaxies have clear-cut edges similar to everyday objects. We address this question by developing physically motivated criteria to define the edges of galaxies. Based on the gas density threshold required for starChamba, Nushkia et al.
How to write and develop your astronomy research paper
Writing is a vital component of a modern career in scientific research. But how to write correctly and effectively is often not included in the training that young astronomers receive from their supervisors and departments. We offer a step-by-step guide to tackle this deficiency, published as a set of two Perspectives. In the first, we addressedKnapen, Johan H. et al.
How to plan your astronomy research paper in ten steps
Scientific writing is an important skill for a career as a professional astrophysicist. However, very few researchers receive any formal training in how to write scientific research papers of high quality in an efficient manner. This Perspective is the first of a two-part self-help guide to scientific writing to address this skills gap. This partChamba, Nushkia et al.
Extragalactic Magnetism with SOFIA (SALSA Legacy Program). III. First Data Release and On-the-fly Polarization Mapping Characterization
We describe the data processing of the Survey on extragALactic magnetiSm with SOFIA (SALSA Legacy Program). This first data release presents 33% (51.34 hr out of 155.7 hr, including overheads) of the total awarded time from 2020 January to 2021 December. Our observations were performed using the newly implemented on-the-fly mapping (OTFMAP)Lopez-Rodriguez, Enrique et al.
Preparing for low surface brightness science with the Vera C. Rubin Observatory: Characterization of tidal features from mock images
Tidal features in the outskirts of galaxies yield unique information about their past interactions and are a key prediction of the hierarchical structure formation paradigm. The Vera C. Rubin Observatory is poised to deliver deep observations for potentially millions of objects with visible tidal features, but the inference of galaxy interactionMartin, G. et al.
Stellar masses, sizes, and radial profiles for 465 nearby early-type galaxies: An extension to the Spitzer survey of stellar structure in Galaxies (S<SUP>4</SUP>G)
Context. The Spitzer Survey of Stellar Structure in Galaxies (S4G) is a detailed study of over 2300 nearby galaxies in the near-infrared (NIR), which has been critical to our understanding of the detailed structures of nearby galaxies. Because the sample galaxies were selected only using radio-derived velocities, however, the survey favored lateWatkins, A. E. et al.
The multifarious ionization sources and disturbed kinematics of extraplanar gas in five low-mass galaxies
Aims: We investigate the origin of the extraplanar diffuse ionized gas (eDIG) and its predominant ionization mechanisms in five nearby (17-46 Mpc) low-mass (109-1010 M⊙) edge-on disk galaxies: ESO 157-49, ESO 469-15, ESO 544-27, IC 217, and IC 1553. Methods: We acquired Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) integral field spectroscopy and deepRautio, R. P. V. et al.
The Seventeenth Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Surveys: Complete Release of MaNGA, MaStar, and APOGEE-2 Data
This paper documents the seventeenth data release (DR17) from the Sloan Digital Sky Surveys; the fifth and final release from the fourth phase (SDSS-IV). DR17 contains the complete release of the Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory (MaNGA) survey, which reached its goal of surveying over 10,000 nearby galaxies. The complete releaseAbdurro'uf et al.
Implications for galaxy formation models from observations of globular clusters around ultradiffuse galaxies
We present an analysis of Hubble Space Telescope observations of globular clusters (GCs) in six ultradiffuse galaxies (UDGs) in the Coma cluster, a sample that represents UDGs with large effective radii (Re), and use the results to evaluate competing formation models. We eliminate two significant sources of systematic uncertainty in theSaifollahi, Teymoor et al.
LeMMINGs - IV. The X-ray properties of a statistically complete sample of the nuclei in active and inactive galaxies from the Palomar sample
All 280 of the statistically complete Palomar sample of nearby (<120 Mpc) galaxies δ > 20° have been observed at 1.5 GHz as part of the LeMMINGs e-MERLIN legacy survey. Here, we present Chandra X-ray observations of the nuclei of 213 of these galaxies, including a statistically complete sub-set of 113 galaxies in the declination range 40° <δ < 65°Williams, D. R. A. et al.
Euclid preparation. XVI. Exploring the ultra-low surface brightness Universe with Euclid/VIS
Context. While Euclid is an ESA mission specifically designed to investigate the nature of dark energy and dark matter, the planned unprecedented combination of survey area (∼15 000 deg2), spatial resolution, low sky-background, and depth also make Euclid an excellent space observatory for the study of the low surface brightness UniverseEuclid Collaboration et al.
Euclid preparation. XIII. Forecasts for galaxy morphology with the Euclid Survey using deep generative models
We present a machine learning framework to simulate realistic galaxies for the Euclid Survey, producing more complex and realistic galaxies than the analytical simulations currently used in Euclid. The proposed method combines a control on galaxy shape parameters offered by analytic models with realistic surface brightness distributions learnedEuclid Collaboration et al.
A low-cost chopping system and uncooled microbolometer array for ground-based astronomy
Mid-Infrared imaging is vital for the study of a wide variety of astronomical phenomena, including evolved stars, exoplanets, and dust enshrouded processes such as star formation in galaxies. However, infrared detectors have traditionally been expensive and it is difficult to achieve the sensitivity needed to see beyond the overwhelming midRashman, M. F. et al.
WALLABY pilot survey: H I gas disc truncation and star formation of galaxies falling into the Hydra I cluster
We present results from our analysis of the Hydra I cluster observed in neutral atomic hydrogen (H I) as part of the Widefield ASKAP L-band Legacy All-sky Blind Survey (WALLABY). These WALLABY observations cover a 60-square-degree field of view with uniform sensitivity and a spatial resolution of 30 arcsec. We use these wide-field observations toReynolds, T. N. et al.
Extragalactic Magnetism with SOFIA (Legacy Program) - II: A Magnetically Driven Flow in the Starburst Ring of NGC 1097
Galactic bars are frequent in disk galaxies and they may support the transfer of matter toward the central engine of active nuclei. The barred galaxy NGC 1097 has magnetic forces controlling the gas flow at several kpc scales, which suggest that magnetic fields (B-fields) are dynamically important along the bar and nuclear ring. However, the effectLopez-Rodriguez, Enrique et al.
Discovery and analysis of low-surface-brightness galaxies in the environment of NGC 1052
The environment of NGC 1052 has recently attracted much attention because of the presence of low-surface-brightness galaxies (LSBGs) with apparently "exotic" properties, making it a region of high interest for the detection of new objects. We used public deep photometric data from the Dark Energy Camera Legacy Survey to carry out a comprehensiveRomán, Javier et al.
Capturing the Physics of MaNGA Galaxies with Self-supervised Machine Learning
As available data sets grow in size and complexity, advanced visualization tools enabling their exploration and analysis become more important. In modern astronomy, integral field spectroscopic galaxy surveys are a clear example of increasing high dimensionality and complex data sets, which challenges the traditional methods used to extract theSarmiento, Regina et al.