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The VIMOS UltraDeep Survey – a spectroscopic survey of high redshift galaxies

8 Feb 2016, 18:43 UTC
The VIMOS UltraDeep Survey – a spectroscopic survey of high redshift galaxies
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The VIMOS UltraDeep Survey (short: VUDS) is an observational program to gain spectroscopic measurements for ~10,000 galaxies at high redshift, when the Universe was only between 1- 3 billion years old (today, the Universe is 13.8 billion years old). This is a particularly interesting era to study in terms of galaxy evolution since astronomers expect galaxies at that epoch to look very different from today. For example, at that early time we observe that galaxies have a much more disturbed morphology compared to the beautiful structured spiral galaxies or smooth elliptical galaxies that we see in the local Universe. We expect that galaxies formed many more stars at that time partly triggered by disturbances from the merging of galaxies but also because more gas was still available to form stars in those galaxies. The time between redshift 2 to 6 (i.e. the first 1-3 billion years of the Universe’s age) is thus a major epoch of galaxy assembly.Figure 1: Very Large Telescope in Chile, photo credit: R. Thomas.With CANDELS, galaxies in that epoch are studied mostly based on photometry, meaning images taken at different wavelengths. We described in earlier blog posts how with photometry at many different wavelengths astronomers ...

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