Nearby galaxies like the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, M83, are well-studied neighbours to our Milky Way. Being external galaxies we get an outsiders view of them, allowing us to see these galaxies as a whole, yet they are close enough to resolve structures like spiral arms, HII regions and even stars in our nearest neighbours. These galaxies have been observed across the electromagnetic spectrum, from the ultraviolet to infrared and radio. Now we are even obtaining 3D optical spectroscopy (or integral field spectroscopy) of these galaxies, making maps of every wavelength. What this gives us is a picture of all the components of a galaxy – the cold and hot gas, the new and old stars, and even how these components move (the kinematics).
With such detailed data we are able to break apart and understand galaxy formation in ways not possible before. Based on this data we have multiple projects in:
- 3D modelling of galaxies
- Quantifying the energetic feedback from massive stars
- Understanding the heating of the diffuse interstellar gas
- Understanding the distribution of metals and dust in galaxies over cosmic time
For more details of these projects or similar, or even your own, please contact the primary supervisor (Dr. Brent Groves)