​Uncovering the mass assembly history of late-type galaxies in different environments with IFS data


  • Call:

    IDPASC Portugal - PHD Programme 2019

  • Academic Year:

    2019 / 2020

  • Domain:


  • Supervisor:

    Jean Michel Gomes

  • Co-Supervisor:

    Catarina Lobo

  • Institution:

    Universidade do Porto

  • Host Institution:

    Universidade do Porto

  • Abstract:

    ​Galaxy clusters and groups are gravitationally bound structures that contain hundreds to thousands of galaxies bonded by gravity and embedded in a dense medium. They are excellent laboratories for studying the impact of the environment on the mass assembly history of their member galaxies. As such, there is abundant literature on how several processes such as ram pressure stripping, strangulation, tidal effects, and merging can lead to significant changes in the secular evolution of galaxies. A combination of these mechanisms is expected to explain some of the morphological transformations of galaxies and the quenching of their star formation activity. Pinning down the dominant mechanism responsible for these evolutionary trends is one of the key-questions in extragalactic astronomy, that is likely linked to the process of infall of galaxies into clusters occurring within the framework of the hierarchical growth of large scale structure. The cold gas medium of galaxies is expected to be tightly connected with their capacity to keep forming stars and is extremely sensitive, in small timescales, to the mechanisms mentioned above. It should thus provide indications of the relevant processes acting on galaxies located at different clustercentric radii and in the field. Recent studies that show abnormally strong and frequent cold gas interstellar medium interactions signatures in the late-type galaxies in merging clusters seem to indicate that this phase of the galactic content carries the signatures of the physical processes occurring in different environments. This project proposes a systematic study of 2D integral field spectroscopy (IFS) from the MaNGA (Mapping Nearby Galaxies at APO) survey combined with HI and molecular gas ancillary data for a large sample of galaxies inhabiting different environments. In order to reconstruct the spatially resolved star-formation and chemical enrichment history of galaxies in distinct environments, the student will make use of the FADO population synthesis code and Porto3D post-processing IFS analysis pipeline. This project provides an excellent combination of astrophysical theory with observations, and it will lead to valuable expertise in the field of spectral synthesis and environment of galaxies, i.e. cluster as compared to field galaxies. Several publications will support the future career of the student. Previous knowledge on one of the following computing languages is desirable: ESO-MIDAS script language, Fortran 77/2008+, C, C++, IDL or Python.