The High-Z Universe

Understanding the physics and tracing the cosmic history of the galaxy mass assembly is one of the main open questions of galaxy formation and evolution. Despite the tremendous progress in observational cosmology, the accuracy in the estimate of cosmological parameters and the successful convergence on the LambdaCDM cosmological model, the mechanisms leading to the birth and the evolution of galaxies are still poorly known.

The empirical approach adopted is the investigation of galaxy formation and evolution to search for and to study the populations of distant galaxies.
Samples selected in the optical bands allow to cull star-forming galaxies where the redshifted ultraviolet (UV) radiation is dominated by hot, massive and short-lived stars. However, optical samples are affected by severe biases due to the strong influence of dust extinction and to the wide range of shapes of the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) depending on the level of star formation activity and on the age of the galaxy.
At longer wavelengths, the above problems are alleviated, as the rest-frame near-infrared radiation is dominated by low mass, long-lived stars. Also, the shapes of the SEDs in such a spectral range are very similar for all galaxy types, and the effects of dust extinction become less severe.

In addition, the rest-frame near-IR luminosity is known to correlate with the galaxy mass. The above advantages make galaxy samples selected in the near- (e.g. K-band at 2.2mum) or, even better, in the mid-IR (e.g. 4-8mum, now possible with the Spitzer Space Telescope) more suitable than optical samples to investigate galaxy evolution and, particularly, the history of galaxy stellar mass assembly.

At OAPd we are deeply involved in many ongoing survey projects as GOODS, GMASS, COSMOS and others, aimed at mapping the galaxy populations as a function of redshift and environment. These projects are establishing the observational facts that theoretical modelling will try to reproduce, ensuring full multiwavelength coverage from X-rays to radio making use of all main observational facilities worldwide, both on the ground and in space. Moreover, data from previous IR mission, i.e., the ISO mission which also involved people from OAPd, are now reduced and published.
These observations allowed us to deep our knowledge on the IR and far-IR luminosity functions (LF), which have long been used to constrain galaxy formation models and to quantify star formation and evolution both in luminosity and in density. Thanks to our ISOCAM, optical/near-IR observations and spectroscopy we presented the 60 micron LF and the bi-variate 15 micron LF, one of the few determinations based on ISO data, of a sample of galaxies on which numerous study of galaxy evolution still rely. Despite the fact that our redshift range exceeds 0.3, and our 60micron LF extends up to log(L60)=12, does not show any evidence of evolution.

The high-z Universe -PAST STUDIES

News – MEDIA INAF

Il notiziario online dell'Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica
  • Un nuovo studio per una scoperta non così nuova: l’individuazione della materia barionica “mancante”. Trovata ora da un team guidato da Orsolya Kovacs del CfA di Harvard, ma in realtà già individuata da Fabrizio Nicastro dell’Inaf di Roma e colleghi l’anno scorso

  • Una serie di 25 articoli pubblicati su Astronomy & Astrophysics, molti dei quali firmati anche da ricercatrici e ricercatori dell’Inaf e dell’Università di Bologna, getta nuova luce su molte aree di ricerca, fra le quali la fisica dei buchi neri e lo studio dell’evoluzione degli ammassi di galassie

  • Faglie profonde solcano la superficie della cometa 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Faglie originate da deformazioni meccaniche. Un articolo pubblicato oggi su Nature Geoscience, firmato tra gli altri da ricercatori dell’Istituto nazionale di astrofisica e dell’Università di Padova, le analizza a un livello di dettaglio mai raggiunto prima

  • Gli scienziati ipotizzano che alle temperature e densità estremamente elevate alle quali si verifica la fusione di due stelle di neutroni possa avvenire una transizione di fase nella quale i neutroni si dissolvono nei loro costituenti: quark e gluoni. Due gruppi di ricerca internazionali mostrano come ci dovremmo aspettare la firma di una tale transizione di fase nell’onda gravitazionale prodotta dall’evento

  • Come abili surfisti, le particelle di vento solare con la giusta velocità possono “prendere” l’onda di plasma, sottraendovi energia. Un processo noto come smorzamento di Landau, mai misurato prima in un plasma astrofisico

  • Nebulose luminose che si formano quando i getti espulsi dalla stella appena nata collidono con il materiale circostante. L’immagine è del telescopio spaziale Hubble di Nasa ed Esa

Edu INAF - Risorse e iniziative per la scuola e la società dell'INAF

Go to top

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

I accept cookies from this site.

EU Cookie Directive Module Information