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Spatially resolved study of the initial mass function of nearby galaxies in the near-infrared with WIFIS

Grant number: 18/24389-8
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2019
Effective date (End): January 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Astronomy
Principal Investigator:Claudia Lucia Mendes de Oliveira
Grantee:Carlos Eduardo Barbosa
Supervisor abroad: Dennis Zaritsky
Home Institution: Instituto de Astronomia, Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas (IAG). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Arizona, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:16/12331-0 - Galaxy evolution in different environments using spatially resolved kinematics and stellar populations, BP.PD


The Initial Mass Function (IMF) is a fundamental aspect of galaxies, yet its determination in galaxies other than the Milky Way has shown conflicting results among studies in the literature. Some works in the last decade have indicated that the IMF is bottom-heavy in relation to the Milky Way, indicating that dwarf stars in those systems are more common than in our own Galaxy, but the same results have been challenged by other groups. Using a newly commissioned instrument, the Wide Integral Field Infrared Spectrograph (WIFIS), we plan to tackle the issue of the IMF in nearby galaxies using near-infrared spectroscopy to mitigate problems that arise when solely optical observations are used. Using a sample of 75 galaxies, we plan to determine the shape of the low-mass end of the IMF using both dynamical and stellar population analysis in order to constrain the IMF consistently, and give a new view to the subject. Moreover, we plan to use the large field-of-view of WIFIS to observe the IMF with spatial resolution to verify whether it varies as a function of the galactocentric distance, or if it is constant, following the pattern of the Milky Way disk.