Resolved studies of high redshift galaxies:
Witnessing the growth of galaxies at z ~ 1 – 3

BzK 15504

Spatially- and spectrally-resolved information of the rest-frame optical line and continuum emission is proving very powerful in exploring the baryonic mass assembly and star formation of distant galaxies. With our major SINS and zC-SINF surveys of near-IR imaging spectroscopy with SINFONI, coupled with Hubble Space Telescope imaging and multi-line spectroscopic observations with LUCI, we are investigating in detail the resolved gas kinematics, stellar populations and structure, and physical properties of young star-forming galaxies a few billion years after the Big Bang.

These surveys are revealing the importance of internal galaxy dynamics in growing early disks and bulges, and the nature and energetics of feedback — pinning down for the first time details of physical processes driving and regulating early galaxy evolution in the emerging "equilibrium growth model." KMOS3D, our new multi-year survey with the KMOS instrument, will take the next step towards a comprehensive and unbiased view of the resolved properties of galaxies at the heyday of massive galaxy formation.

SINS, and its recent extension zC-SINF, takes advantage of the unique opportunities afforded by SINFONI at ESO's Very Large Telescope on Cerro Paranal, Chile, a near-infrared integral field spectrometer combined with an adaptive optics system that delivers sharp images simultaneously with high resolution spectral information.
The multiplexing capabilities of the LUCI near-IR multi-slit spectrograph and imager at the Large Binocular Telescope on Mount Graham, near Tucson, Arizona, make surveys of multiple emission lines of large samples up to 20 times more efficient than classical single-object long-slit instruments.
The recently commissioned KMOS instrument at the Very Large Telescope features the unprecedented combination of integral field spectroscopic and multiplexing, with its 24 integral field units patrolling a wide field of 7 arcmin in diameter, opening up an entirely new dimension in detailed spatially- and spectally-resolved studies of distant galaxies.

We participate in:

  • IMPRS: the International Max-Planck Research School on Astrophysics

We were also part of:

  • DFG Priority Program SPP1177: "Witnesses of Cosmic History"
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