Gas and stars in galaxies: A multi-wavelength 3D perspective

In 2008 ESO hosted the first conference on extragalactic 3D multi-wavelength astronomy. This very successful workshop attracted more than 150 astronomers with expertise ranging from the radio to the optical wavelengths. In the intervening five-year period, 3D spectroscopic techniques have greatly extended our understanding of the key subjects addressed in this workshop. The kinematics, mass assembly and evolution of galaxies has been explored in large samples in the optical and near-infrared by programs such as the SAURON/ATLAS3D and CALIFA surveys of nearby galaxies and the SINS and MASSIV surveys at z~1-2. 3D spectroscopy at these wavelengths has become a standard technique to such an extent that on 8-m telescopes survey style instruments have been developed. Meanwhile, for the next generation of extremely large telescopes IFU spectrographs are selected among the first instruments to be commissioned. At the longer end of the wavelength range, the JVLA has now come online and new radio facilities are producing commissioning results. Over the last few years millimeter interferometers have produced spectacular 3D maps of carbon monoxide and various other atomic and molecular lines of galaxies out to redshifts of z=6, as well as very detailed cubes of nearby galaxies. Against this background, it is an excellent moment to hold a second workshop in this series. The 2nd generation VLT instruments KMOS and MUSE are taking up science operations in 2013/14. ALMA is conducting Cycle 1 observations and is preparing for new observing modes and increased sensitivity and angular resolution in future Cycles. The timing is perfect to evaluate the scientific progress made since 2008 and to make the community aware of the expanding science capabilities of ESO’s 3D instrumentation suite.

Scientific topics covered at the conference will include:

  • Nearby Galaxy Dynamics
  • Starbursts and interacting galaxies
  • Supermassive black holes and AGN
  • High redshift galaxies
  • Cosmology and deep fields
By adapting a multi-wavelength approach to these scientific questions the stellar, hot and cold gas dynamics can be combined to provide an unprecedented opportunity to study many processes involved in galaxy formation such as infall, outflows, star-formation, mergers and AGN-related phenomena. Like in 2008, we envisage a highly interactive meeting with a focus on the presentation of scientific results based on current technology, but also an investigation into the exciting possibilities of future technologies. A secondary goal of this workshop is for the different communities to learn about the tools used to analyze and visualize 3-dimensional data, and to understand how they can be combined in optimal ways.

In support of this goal of the workshop, a concise description of the capabilities of these three new facilities is presented in this flyer.