Galaxy evolution – observations

Galaxy Surveys

Our researchers are involved in several international collaborations based on multiwavelength surveys focused on the formation and evolution of normal galaxies and AGN: Chandra Deep Field South; Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH); Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS); EUCLID mission (WG "Galaxy evolution and AGNs"); Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS); Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF).

Other projects involve proprietary data from Galex, Spitzer, Herschel, TNG as well as public data from COSMOS and from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Among the main scientific goals pursued by our group: (a) study of spectral and morphological properties, luminosity function, star formation rate, stellar mass, energetic feedback processes, age, chemical enrichment and dust in high redshift galaxies; (b) study of galaxy evolution as a function of the environment and of their location in the large-scale structure of the Universe; (c) search of galaxies and AGN at the epoch of reionization (z>~7); (d) characterization of the ionizing radiation at redshift 3-4.5 from star forming galaxies; (e) spectral properties of obscured AGN and Compton-thick AGN, contribution to the extragalactic X-ray background from different AGN populations.

Contact Person: M. Nonino
Staff: A. Biviano, S. Cristiani, G. De Lucia, M. Girardi, P. Monaco
PhD Students:


Galaxies in absorptions

Absorption features called Damped Lyman-alpha (DLA) systems are clouds of neutral gas which are observed in QSO spectra. DLAs are observed up to very high redshifts (z~4-5), which correspond to early cosmic epochs, when the Universe was only ~1-2 Gyr old. They represent one of the best probes to study proto-galaxies and stellar  nucleosynthetic processes in the first phases of chemical evolution. DLAs have an average value of metallicity of the order of 1/20 the solar one, with a significant dispersion and a lower metallicity tail reaching 1/3000 Z⊙, (or [Fe/H] ~ -3.5). 

Researchers at the Observatory works mainly on: the presence of dust, the relative ratio between alpha elements and iron peak elements, and elements of the CNO cycle. We follow also the behaviour of Ar which is sensitive to the ionization of the meta-galactic background.

Contact Person: P. Molaro
Staff: V. D'Odorico, G. Vladilo
PhD Students:


Active galactic nuclei (AGN) and their host galaxies

Our team is responsible for several projects, aimed at studying the properties of AGN (Active Galactic Nuclei), the super massive black holes housed inside them, and their host galaxies. Our goal is to quantify the effect of the AGNs on their host galaxies, through cosmic time, from the local universe to high redshift, both through precise observations of particular sources, and through scaling relations applied to statistical samples.
Our approach is observational-interpretive, and we make use of multi-band observations, from X-rays (INTEGRAL, Chandra, XMM), optical (VLT / MUSE, SINFONI), and in (sub) -mm (ALMA, IRAM).
Our team members co-ordinate or are involved in several observational projects, and have proprietary data from major observatories. The projects will also expand in the low frequency range with JVLA and LOFAR.
Our projects in progress:
- multi-band study of samples of galaxies-AGN in the local universe. We study the properties of accretion on SMBH (super-massive black-holes), and the properties of gas, dust and stars in the host galaxies, and their scaling relations (IBISCO project, proprietary data from ALMA and IRAM).
- Study of AGN and their  host galaxies at "cosmic noon”.  Project SUPER - The SINFONI Survey for Unveiling the Physics and Effect of Radiative feedback
- study of hyper-luminous QSO at z = 2-4 and their host galaxies, the WISSH QSO project (The WISE-SDSS selected hyper-luminous QSO project)
- study of the first QSOs and their host galaxies at z ~> 6 with ALMA and XSHOOTER (we collaborate with Large Program ESO / VLT XQR-30: the ultimate X-shooter legacy survey of quasars at z ~ 5.8-6.6, PI D'Odorico).
Master and doctoral theses are available.
Prof. Fabrizio Fiore This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dr. Chiara Feruglio This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.