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Australian Human Resources Institute Diversity Awards 2013 Finalist

Miguel Sanchez Portal (ESAC/ESA)


"Exploiting large facilities: galaxy clusters with GTC (GLACE) and nearby AGNs in the FIR with Herschel (SAFIR)"

Abstract. Aimed at understanding the evolution of galaxies in clusters, the GaLAxy Cluster Evolution survey (GLACE) is mapping a set of optical lines ([OII]3727, [OIII]5007, Hbeta and Halpha/[NII] when possible) in several galaxy clusters at z~0.40, 0.63 and 0.86, using the Tuneable Filters (TF) of the OSIRIS instrument (Cepa et al. 2005) at the 10.4m GTC telescope. This study is addressing key questions about the physical processes acting upon the infalling galaxies during the course of hierarchical growth of clusters. GLACE is already ongoing: we present some preliminary results on our observations of the galaxy cluster Cl0024+1654 at z=0.395; GLACE@0.86 has been approved as ESO/GTC large project and observations are on-going.

The Star formation and Activity in the Far-IR (SAFIR) is a small Herschel Guaranteed Time program aimed to perform PACS & SPIRE imaging photometry in the 70, 100, 160, 250, 350 and 500 micron bands of a sample of 18 nearby Seyfert 1 and 2 galaxies. The goals of the project include:

a) Star formation in AGN hosts: AGN and starburst activities, being among the most energetic extragalactic processes, have been studied separately until the past decade, when evidence that the two phenomena are related and, most frequently, coexistent started to accumulate. The FIR peak of cold dust emission constitute a powerful tracer of star formation. However, the study of such an important feature in the innermost regions of nearby AGN hosts has been, until the advent of Herschel, seriously limited by the low spatial resolution and limited spectral coverage of the existing facilities. Our new data, given the unprecedented angular resolution and spectral coverage of the Herschel Space Observatory start to overcome this limitation, allowing us to probe the cold and very cold dust components across the galaxy and even in the nuclear and circum-nuclear regions.

(b) Characterising the physical nature of AGN infrared emission: we are performing multi-component SED fitting (AGN, starburst and host galaxy), combining existing ground and space-based data from UV to MIR with Herschel FIR observations. The new, high resolution Herschel data are allowing us to unveil the nature of the dusty torus (e.g. clumpy vs. smooth, flared disc), breaking model degeneracies.


Held in the AAO Conference Room at 11:00 AM on Monday, 11 June 2012

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