UCM group of Extragalactic astrophysics and astronomical instrumentation
Dept. Astrofísica y CC de la Atmósfera   Univ. Complutense de Madrid
Research lines:
Local star-forming galaxies
Galaxy models
Surveys Databases
SHARDS project
Stellar libraries
Early-type galaxies
Meteors and Fireballs
Dark Skies
Instrumental developments:
MEGARA:Multi-Espectrógrafo en GTC de Alta Resolución para Astronomía
EMIR: Espectrógrafo Multiobjeto en el InfraRrojo
FRIDA: inFrared Imager and Dissector for Adaptative optics

El diagrama de color-color UV-IR GALEX/S4G: atrapando galaxias espirales fuera de la Secuencia Azul


Panel izquierdo: Diagrama color-color (FUV − NUV) frente a (NUV − [3.6]). Panel derecho: Diagrama color-magnitud usando la diferencia entre el color (FUV − NUV) y el ajuste a la GBS en el diagrama color-color frente a M_[3.6].

Worldwide variations in artificial skyglow


Typical night sky brightness at two locations: the top plot is Kitt Peak in Arizona, the bottom is near the center of Berlin. NSU is how bright it is compared to a starry sky.

Newspaper archives drop hints about the Chelyabinsk event and other superbolides


Distribution of news on the New York times. One of the databases used for this research.

Distribution of news on the New York times. One of the databases used for this research. Dates correspond to the position of the sun on 2013.


·   Analysis of the appearance frequency of these superbolides and big fireballs (meteors brighter than the Full Moon) shows how some dates have a greater abundance, as it does with meteor showers (much smaller meteoroids). This is direct evidence on the existence of small asteroids yet to be discovered, that cross Earth’s orbit and may impact it.


·  Researchers and students of Universidad Complutense de Madrid started a citizen science project delving into national and international newspapers archives like New York Times and El País.

·     The preliminary results were presented in the XXI National Astronomy Conference hold in Granada, Spain in May 2014 (http://goo.gl/Ngwshw). 

Media coverage of Cities at Night

Cities at Night citizen science project


Among the research on light pollution by the GUAIX group, we have recently launch the website www.citiesatnight.org which holds the first atlas of night time ISS images. This is a citizen science project leaded by UCM people.

  • Dark Skies of ISS - This is the most simple web app that helps to clasificate the images.
  • Night Cities -  Another web app to georeference cities (medium dificulty).
  • Lost at Night - The purpose of this application is to locate images whose position is unknown. It is the most difficult of the three.

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