A team led by Dr. Joe Cox of the Portsmouth Business School, and including Dr. Karen Masters from the ICG as well as researchers from Oxford, Manchester and Leeds Universities, has won £750,000 from EPSRC to establish why people give up their time to help scientists with projects like Galaxy Zoo
Recent work by ICG cosmologists has been featured on the physics news site Phys.Org. The article, titled
`Is dark energy static or dynamic?' describes a recent paper by Gong-bo Zhao and Rob Crittenden of the ICG, Levon Pogosian of Simon Fraser University and the ICG, and Xinmin Zhang of the Chinese Academy of Science that looks at how generic models of dark energy can be constrained by the latest cosmological data:
The original paper appeared recently in Physical Review Letters (PRL 109, 171301 (2012)), entitled `Examining the Evidence for Dynamical Dark Energy':
On Friday 9th of November Dr Marco Bruni represented ICG at the inaugural ceremony of the Dark Energy Camera, now in operation at the 4m Blanco Telescope of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. On the same day the 50th anniversary of the Cerro Tololo Observatory was celebrated. Astronomers from many different research groups involved in the Dark Energy Survey (DES), the project for which the Dark Energy Camera was developed, attended the ceremonies and enjoyed the fantastic view of the southern sky that is visible from the peak of Cerro Tololo.
ICG's Dr Claudia Maraston is part of a team, led by astronomers at the University of Utah, who have discovered that the centres of some of the biggest galaxies are growing denser. This indicates that these galaxies have formed through the collision and merging of massive galaxies, rather than through one massive galaxy consuming many smaller galaxies.
On Saturday October 6th, the Portsmouth News included a three page profile of the ICG in its Lifestyle section. The article included interviews with Marco Bruni, Rob Crittenden, Dominic Galliano and Karen Masters about their research and the outreach work of the ICG with local schools and beyond. There is also a nice photograph of them!
The Dark Energy Survey (of which the ICG is a member) has achieved 'first light' - the taking of its first images of the sky.
Eight billion years ago, rays of light from distant galaxies began their long journey to Earth. That ancient starlight has now found its way to a mountaintop in Chile, where the newly-constructed Dark Energy Camera, the most powerful sky-mapping machine ever created, has captured and recorded it for the first time.
That light may hold within it the answer to one of the biggest mysteries in physics – why the expansion of the universe is speeding up.
ICG researchers (Rob Crittenden, Bob Nichol and Ashley Ross) have painstakingly re-analysed the evidence for dark energy from the Integrated Sachs-Wolfe (ISW) effect. This work, published in MNRAS and on astro-ph re-confirms the need for dark energy at the 99.996% confidence level.
More information can be found at:
ICG researchers have been heavily involved in the creation of the 9th Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). See the University of Portsmouth press release or the more general SDSS press release for details and animations.