University of Barcelona

Galaxy Structure and Evolution

ICCUB research in this area includes both galactic and extragalactic astronomy:

Galactic astronomy

Galactic astronomy is the study of the Milky Way. Our Galaxy is a complex system, a late type spiral, with major structural elements, namely the bar and bulge, the halo and both the thick and thin disks. The majority of the mass of the Galaxy is contained within the dark matter halo —clues as to this can be found in measurements of the globular clusters in the halo and, more generally, the dynamics of stars in the latter. Our Galaxy is a rich laboratory where we can explore how stars and galaxies form, how they evolve, and what processes shape their current forms. Stars harbour planets, and our planetary system provide pointers to extra-solar worlds. Making linkages from the local solar neighbourhood, to planetary systems, open clusters, the disk or to our galaxy as a whole, is the key to our understanding of the wider evolution of the Universe — from the Big Bang to its eventual cold and lonely demise. [+]

Extragalactic astronomy

Extragalactic astronomy is concerned with everything that lies beyond the domain of galactic astronomy (i.e. the Milky Way). This includes a large array of objects and phenomena ranging from galaxies to superclusters and spanning the last 13 billion years of the history of the Universe. This makes extragalactic astronomy a fertile ground for the merging of many branches of physics (mainly high energy physics and cosmology). [+]

ICCUB Contribution
Galactic astronomy

Research in galactic astronomy at the ICCUB includes three main lines of research: galaxy modeling, the study of stellar constituents and stellar luminosity calibration. At present, this research is highly influenced by the preparation of the scientific exploitation of the Gaia mission, in which ICCUB researchers are deeply involved (see the GAIA Mission link for more information). [+]

Extragalactic astronomy

ICCUB’s interest in galactic astrophysics extends beyond the Milky Way and is concerned, too, with the formation of the first galaxies, which were formed from pristine matter. They comprised population III stars, which reionised the intergalactic medium, polluted it with metals and left behind the seeds of SMBHs. These are processes currently being modeled at ICCUB. [+]

Lines of Research