Department of Astronomy & Physics

Enabling Infrared Surveys of Galaxies with Innovative Imaging Spectrographs

Speaker: Suresh Sivanandam (Dunlap Institute, University of Toronto)
Time: November 2, 2018 - 3:00 PM
Location: Atrium 101


Optical integral field (imaging) spectroscopic surveys of large numbers of galaxies are now becoming the norm. These surveys allow detailed studies of individual galaxies, such as their kinematics and stellar ages/metallicities. With a sufficiently large sample, these types of observations are the best tools for understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies. However, similar surveys in the infrared remain challenging. There are two significant gaps that need to addressed: the rest-frame infrared has been untapped for nearby systems due to the lack of wide integral field infrared spectrographs (IFSes), and observations of the distant universe have been limited to small samples from the lack of high angular resolution, highly multiplexed IFSes.  

I will discuss two instruments that will directly address these gaps: one recently commissioned, the wide integral field infrared spectrograph (WIFIS), and another recently funded, the Gemini Infrared Multi-object Spectrograph (GIRMOS). WIFIS is currently carrying out an infrared survey of nearby galaxies by studying their stellar populations, star-formation, and kinematics, complementing existing optical surveys such as CALIFA and MaNGA. On the other hand, GIRMOS will be a multi-object IFS that takes advantage of the latest developments in adaptive optics. It will be able to carry out large surveys of the distant universe by simultaneously observing multiple galaxies, which will finally complement, in a similar scale, the studies being done in the local universe.


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