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Improving mass models of galaxies using numerical simulations

Grant number: 12/21375-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2013
Effective date (End): March 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Astronomy - Extragalactic Astrophysics
Principal Investigator:Claudia Lucia Mendes de Oliveira
Grantee:Juan Carlos Basto Pineda
Supervisor: Volker Springel
Host Institution: Instituto de Astronomia, Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas (IAG). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS), Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:11/21678-0 - Dark and baryonic matter in spiral galaxies: a joint analysis of observations and numerical simulations, BP.DD


This project intends to gain new insights into the dynamics of galaxies by jointly using numerical simulations and observational data, and analysis methods that allow a straightforward comparison between these two approaches.For a long time kinematic data from galaxies have been used to study the properties of their dark and baryonic matter components. Most often rotation curves are used to probe the concentration and shape of dark matter galactic halos, after subtracting the contribution of the baryonic components as inferred from the photometry. It has been claimed using this approach that several galaxies exhibit nearly constant dark matter density profiles in their centers (cores), a fact that contradicts the much steeper distribution expected from "Lambda"CDM numerical simulations (cusps) and is known as the CUSP/CORE problem. Nonetheless, it is hard to get strong conclusions from the observations because several assumptions have to be made during the analysis.In this project, we attempt to investigate possible uncertainties and biases in the observational inferences about dark matter halos, using numerical simulations to validate the different analysis approaches found in the literature. We also plan to simulate individual galaxies trying to reproduce real observed 2D velocity fields, in order to place constraints on the distribution of the dark and baryonic matter.Finally, we plan to investigate the possible features that substructures in the matter distribution could imprint in the disk velocity fields, in order to directly check in our sample of real observed galaxies how well the light traces mass on small scales. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
PINEDA, JUAN C. B.; HAYWARD, CHRISTOPHER C.; SPRINGEL, VOLKER; DE OLIVEIRA, CLAUDIA MENDES. Rotation curve fitting and its fatal attraction to cores in realistically simulated galaxy observations. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, v. 466, n. 1, p. 63-87, . (12/21375-0, 14/07684-5, 11/51680-6, 11/21678-0)

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