Recent Research Highlights

The star formation rate in galaxies varies greatly both across different galaxy types and over galactic time scales.

Understanding how stars form from molecular gas

July 01, 2015

The star formation rate in galaxies varies greatly both across different galaxy types and over galactic time scales. [more]
While it is well known that galaxies reside in halos of dark matter, there has been disagreement about the detailed distribution of dark matter between cosmological simulations and observations: the so-called "cuspy halo problem".

Starburst cycles in galaxies

January 01, 2015

While it is well known that galaxies reside in halos of dark matter, there has been disagreement about the detailed distribution of dark matter between cosmological simulations and observations: the so-called "cuspy halo problem". [more]
Galaxies contain not only "home-made" stars, but also quite a large fraction of stars that were accreted from other galaxies, as a new analysis of SDSS images has recently shown. The scientists at the MPA "stacked" a large number of individual galaxy images to reveal the faint light of the stellar halo of distant galaxies. For the most massive, early-type galaxies the fraction of accreted stars in the stellar halo can be up to 70%.

Stellar halos reveal galactic accretion: Big fish eat small fish

Galaxies contain not only "home-made" stars, but also quite a large fraction of stars that were accreted from other galaxies, as a new analysis of SDSS images has recently shown. The scientists at the MPA "stacked" a large number of individual galaxy images to reveal the faint light of the stellar halo of distant galaxies. For the most massive, early-type galaxies the fraction of accreted stars in the stellar halo can be up to 70%. [more]
How is cold gas accreted in galaxies? Observers and theorists from MPA have joined their efforts to investigate the radial distribution of atomic gas in unusually gas-rich nearby galaxies. They found a universal shape for the radial profiles of the gas in the outer regions of the observed galaxies, and obtained remarkable agreement with simulations. In half the galaxies, the atomic gas may have been accreted in the form of "rings".

An observational and theoretical view of the atomic gas distribution in galaxies

How is cold gas accreted in galaxies? Observers and theorists from MPA have joined their efforts to investigate the radial distribution of atomic gas in unusually gas-rich nearby galaxies. They found a universal shape for the radial profiles of the gas in the outer regions of the observed galaxies, and obtained remarkable agreement with simulations. In half the galaxies, the atomic gas may have been accreted in the form of "rings". [more]

Galaxy Formation

Galaxy Formation

Theoretical research in galaxy formation at MPA uses a variety of techniques, ranging from direct numerical simulations to analytic and semi-analytic modelling.  In addition, we are involved in the construction of large observational surveys and in the development of advanced data analysis tools.

Senior scientists

Kauffmann was born in 1968 in Pasadena, California to parents of German-Jewish and Chinese descent, and  obtained a BSc(Hons) in applied mathematics and a MSc in astronomy at the University of Cape Town in 1990. She completed her Ph.D in astrophysics at the University of Cambridge in 1993.  After being employed at UC Berkeley, the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, she became head of a research team at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in 2003.  In 2007, Dr Kauffmann received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, which is the highest honour awarded in German research.  In 2009, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  In April 2010, she was awarded with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, with the Cross of Merit.  In 2010, she was elected to the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.  In 2012, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.  As of 2013, she is one of the directors of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics.  Her areas of research interest include the development of semi-analytic models of galaxy formation, the analysis of observed properties of galaxies including active galactic nucleii, large spectroscopic surveys of galaxies, and development of effective techniques for connecting galaxy formation models to observations.

Guinevere Kauffmann

Kauffmann was born in 1968 in Pasadena, California to parents of German-Jewish and Chinese descent, and  obtained a BSc(Hons) in applied mathematics and a MSc in astronomy at the University of Cape Town in 1990. She completed her Ph.D in astrophysics at the University of Cambridge in 1993.

After being employed at UC Berkeley, the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, she became head of a research team at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in 2003.

In 2007, Dr Kauffmann received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, which is the highest honour awarded in German research.  In 2009, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  In April 2010, she was awarded with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, with the Cross of Merit.  In 2010, she was elected to the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.  In 2012, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.  As of 2013, she is one of the directors of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics.

Her areas of research interest include the development of semi-analytic models of galaxy formation, the analysis of observed properties of galaxies including active galactic nucleii, large spectroscopic surveys of galaxies, and development of effective techniques for connecting galaxy formation models to observations.

is interested in the detailed structure of the dark matter distribution, and in understanding how the physical processes regulating galaxy formation are reflected in the scaling relations, clustering and evolution of the galaxy population.

Simon White

is interested in the detailed structure of the dark matter distribution, and in understanding how the physical processes regulating galaxy formation are reflected in the scaling relations, clustering and evolution of the galaxy population.
simulates the formation of individual galaxies and their interstellar medium and is particularly interested in improving the numerical represention of the complex processes driving galaxy-scale feedback from star formation and AGN activity.

Thorsten Naab

simulates the formation of individual galaxies and their interstellar medium and is particularly interested in improving the numerical represention of the complex processes driving galaxy-scale feedback from star formation and AGN activity.

Group Members

NameContactLinks
Ayromlou, Mohammadreza
PhD student
Room144
Phone
  • 2248
Emailayromlou@...
Bahe, Yannick
Postdoc
Room108
Phone
  • 2236
Fax
  • 2235
Emailybahe@...
Bieri, Rebekka
Postdoc
Room244
Phone
  • 2299
Emailrbieri@...
Durier, Fabrice
Postdoc
Room185
Phone
  • 2008
Fax
  • 2235
Emailfdurier@...
Eisenreich, Maximilian
PhD student
Room183
Phone
  • 2252
Emailmeisenr@...
Enzi, Wolfgang
PhD student
Room144
Phone
  • 2248
Emailenzi@...
Frigo, Matteo
PhD student
Room015
Phone
  • 2001
Emailmfrigo@...
Halbesma, Timo
Room013
Phone
  • 2007
Emailhalbesma@...
Halle, Anaëlle
Postdoc
Room109
Phone
  • 2247
Emailhalle@...
Jarvis, Miranda
PhD student
Room144
Phone
  • ESO
Emailmiranda@...
Jones, Amy
Postdoc
Room142
Phone
  • 2215
Emailymamay@...
Kauffmann, Guinevere
Director
Room121
Phone
  • 2013
Emailgkauffmann@...
Nelson, Dylan
Postdoc
Room148
Phone
  • 2251
Fax
  • 2235
Emaildnelson@...
Peters, Thomas
Postdoc
Room127
Phone
  • 2195
Emailtpeters@...
Roettgers, Bernhard
PhD student
Room002
Phone
  • 2239
Emailbroettgers@...
Zhukovska, Svitlana
Postdoc
Room283
Phone
  • 2328
Emailszhukovska@...

Projects

GALFORMOD Web Services for Galaxy Formation model - The goal of Galformod is to develop and release powerful and flexible modeling tools that can simulate the evolution of the galaxy population in all viable cosmologies and under a wide variety of assumptions about the governing physical processes.

ATLAS 3D - ATLAS3D is an integral field unit (IFU) survey of 260 early-type galaxies within the local (42Mpc) volume.

GASS - The GALEX Arecibo SDSS Survey  is a survey designed to measure the neutral hydrogen content of a representative sample of ~1000 massive, galaxies, uniformly selected from the SDSS spectroscopic and GALEX imaging surveys.

COLD GASS - contains accurate and homogeneous molecular gas masses for a subset of 350 galaxies from the GASS sample COLD GASS.

Apertif - Apertif aims to increase the field of view of the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) by a factor 25, enabling large HI surveys of the nearby universe to be carried out.

PFS - PFS is a fiber fed spectrograph system with a fiber positioner system designed to be mounted at the prime focus of the Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea, and feeding 4 fixed spectrographs. PFS will allow simultaneous spectral observations of up to 2400 astronomical targets.

MaNGA - Unlike previous SDSS surveys which measured spectra only at the centers of target galaxies, MaNGA  bundles sets of optical fibers into tightly-packed arrays, enabling spectral measurements across the face of each of ~10,000 nearby galaxies.SDSS-IV ManGA survey

EAGLE - EAGLE project (Evolution and Assembly of GaLaxies and their Environments) is a very large N-body + hydrodynamics simulation aimed at understanding how galaxies form and evolve.

 
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