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Physics of galaxies and cosmology

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Champ de vitesse d’une galaxie spirale mesuré avec le spectrographe Giraffe.

The Physics of Galaxies and Cosmology team studies the formation and evolution of galaxies through panchromatic observations as well as through the research of primordial galaxies.

In the “distant” Universe the team studies the initial conditions of galaxy formation, the evolution of massive galaxies at high redshift, their spectrophotometric and dynamical properties, and the formation and evolution of galactic discs using both ground-based and space-borne instruments.

In the “nearby” Universe the team studies the structure, dynamics and evolution of clusters and superclusters of galaxies. It is interested in star formation history, the neutral hydrogen content of galaxies, the kinematics of nearby galaxies, and in environmental effects on galaxies in clusters. The competences of the team are mainly observational and instrumental.

The team uses both ground-based and space-borne observing platforms, which allows for a multi-wavelength approach, from radio (radio telescopes at Nançay and Arecibo) to optical and infra-red (3.60 metre telescope at Hawaii, Very Large Telescope in Chile, Hubble Space Telescope).

The backbone of the team is her know-how in three-dimensional spectroscopy, both at the instrumental level (in collaboration with the Instrumental Pole) as shown by the success of the GIRAFFE spectrograph installed at the VLT, and at the scientific level, as shown by the wealth of results that this instrument has provided to the team (the IMAGES project) and to the ESO community.

Know-how in data bases has also been acquired by the team, which allows it to make the data it has obtained available through the Virtual Observatory.

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