Galaxy Evolution and Transformation

Participating Researchers: Patrick Woudt, Renée Kraan-Korteweg, Erwin de Blok, Sarah Blyth, Kurt van der Hyden, Michael Feast, Patricia Whitelock
Current Postdoctoral Fellows: Antoine Bouchard, Benne Holwerda, Se-Heoh Oh
Current PhD students: Paul Kotze, Abiy Getachew

This theme is a real multi-wavelength approach. It will make optimal use of the new SA facilities SALT and MeerKAT - as well as other facilities including current and future radio interferometers and space telescopes - to probe galaxy evolution in different environments and at varying redshifts. Research will focus on the local Universe, i.e. the Local Group and nearby groups of galaxies, nearby clusters, as well as distant clusters and superclusters. A pilot UCT-SALT supercluster survey has already been started and is making use of multiwavelength data from optical through to radio data from the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT).

A recently completed example of this kind of research is 'The HI Nearby Galaxy Survey' or THINGS. Several hundreds of hours of high resolution radio observations were combined with similar high-quality UV data from the GALEX satelite and IR data from the Spitzer spacecraft. The survey resulted in the strongest observational constraints yet on the distribution of dark matter in galaxies. This observed distribution is in strong disagreement with predictions from cosmological simulations, and these results have a high visibility within the astronomical community.