This international conference has been held from 18th to 22nd of July at Durham (UK), twenty years after the celebration of another one in which attending researches (~ 70) voted the epochs at which they thought that the majority of the stellar content in galaxies was already formed. The possible answers were three: a) when the Universe is older than 3.5 Gyr, b) when the Universe has ~ 1.5 Gyr, and c) when the Universe is younger than 1 Gyr. The majoritarily voted epoch was when the Universe was only 1.5 Gyr old (the Universe is thought to be as old as 14 Gyrs now).
At the present, we know this is not true (the peak of star formation rate in the Universe is later, when the Universe was 3.5 Gyrs old). Moreover, current hierarchical scenarios of galaxy formation pose that the mean age of the stars in a galaxy might be much older than the real age of the galaxy itself, because many galaxies can have acquired most of its mass through galaxy mergers during the last 9 Gyr os cosmic history.
This new conference has gathered together nearly 400 researchers (including a GUAIX member, Carmen Eliche-Moral) to review progress towards understanding the physics of galaxy formation (poster available here).
The European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (JENAM 2011) has been held this year in Saint Petersburg, from 4th to 8th of July. Our group has been present in Symposium S9 (Galaxy Evolution : the key for Galaxy Formation theories) and in Special Session SPS5 (Minor Merging as a Driver of Galaxy Evolution) of the conference. A GUAIX member (Carmen Eliche-Moral) has given a talk there on the formation of stellar inner components (such as inner rings and inner discs) in spiral galaxies through minor mergers (talk available here). Pictures below have been taken by Dr. Carlos López-SanJuan, now at Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille (LAM), who also presented a talk there (talk also available here).
The International Conference on the "Evolution of galaxies, their central black holes and their large-scale environment" was held from 20th to 24th of September in Potsdam, a city 30 km away to the south-west from Berlin (Germany). Mercedes Prieto (one of main collaborators at the IAC) and Carmen Eliche-Moral (GUAIX member) have attended the conference, where they presented their more recent results on the evolution of massive early-type galaxies through major galaxy mergers from both theoretical (poster available here) and observational (poster also available here) perspectives.
JENAM is the Joint European and National Astronomy Meeting organised each year in one of the European countries jointly by the European Astronomical Society and one of the national astronomical societies. JENAM 2010 has taken place in Lisbon, Portugal during the week of September 6-10 2010. Two members of our Department (Alejandro Bedregal and Carmen Eliche-Moral, in the picture near a model of the NIR space telescope Herschel) have assisted to Session 2 of the JENAM: "Environment and the Formation of Galaxies: 30 years later".
JENAM is the Joint European and National Astronomy Meeting organised each year in one of the European countries jointly by the European Astronomical Society and one of the national astronomical societies. JENAM 2010 has taken place in Lisbon, Portugal during the week of September 6-10 2010. Two members of our Department (Alejandro Bedregal and Carmen Eliche-Moral) have assisted to Session 2 of the JENAM: "Environment and the Formation of Galaxies: 30 years later". This session reviewed and updated the work of Alan Dressler on the density-morphology relation of galaxies, which established environment as a driving mechanism for galaxy formation and evolution thirty years ago. A poster showing the results of our semi-analytical models on the role of major mergers in the buildup of massive early-type galaxies since z~1 has been presented.