Galaxy evolution: a comparison between simulations and observations on spatially resolved scales

01 January 2019 → 31 December 2022
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Cosmology and extragalactic astronomy
    • Infrared and optical astronomy
    • Radio and sub-mm astronomy
Galaxies Cosmological simulations
Project description

The origin and evolution of galaxies is one of the most fundamental questions in astrophysics and
cosmology. Cosmological hydrodynamic simulations have become a major tool to help solving this
puzzle. Obviously, our confidence in the conclusions drawn from simulations increases with the level
of agreement between simulations and observations. So far, it has been difficult to translate the
simulated output to observable quantities, not in the least due to the complex interaction of
starlight with the interstellar medium. We are entering a very exciting time as progess in both
theoretical and observational extragalactic astronomy is now making a detailed comparison
possible. We will create a set of realistic mock data for the Auriga Project, a set of 40 spiral galaxies
simulated at high resolution. These mock data will be compared to state-of-the-art observational
data sets from the DustPedia project and the SAMI Galaxy Survey, in terms of their dust scaling
relations and internal kinematics. This comparison will enable us to critically assess the accuracy of
the Auriga hydrodynamic models and to investigate the driving forces of galaxy evolution.