One of the Physics department’s newest professors, Dr. Lauranne Lanz, has recently co-authored a paper on massive spiral galaxies with Patrick Ogle of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. This paper was published October 10, 2019 in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, and presents new data on the rotation rates of super spirals collected with the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere. Additional data were obtained using the 5-meter Hale telescope of the Palomar Observatory, operated by the California Institute of Technology. Data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission was crucial for measuring the galaxy masses in stars and star formation rates.
Referring to the new study, Tom Jarrett of the University of Cape Town, South Africa says, “This work beautifully illustrates the powerful synergy between optical and infrared observations of galaxies, revealing stellar motions with SDSS and SALT spectroscopy, and other stellar properties — notably the stellar mass or ‘backbone’ of the host galaxies — through the WISE mid-infrared imaging.”
Links to the official press release for this paper can be found below: