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«Astronomy and Astrophysics in Comunidad de Madrid: Research and Technology Prepared by the AstroMadrid Steering Committee v 1.0 October 2013 ...»

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Astronomy and Astrophysics in Comunidad de


Research and Technology

Prepared by the AstroMadrid Steering Committee

v 1.0

October 2013

AstroMadrid: Astrophysics and technology development in Comunidad de Madrid

is funded by Consejería de Juventud, Educación y Deportes at Comunidad de

Madrid, with reference S2009/ESP-1496


- Introduction

- Research groups

Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Department of Earth Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics II. Extragalactic Astrophysics.

Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Department of Earth Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics II. Stellar Astrophysics.

Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Department of Earth Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics II. Instrumentation.

Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Department of Atomic, Molecular and Nuclear Physics. Astroparticle Physics.

Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Department of Earth Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics I. Astronomy and Geodesy.

AEGORA (Astronomía Espacial y Gestión Óptima de Recursos Astronómicos).

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Department of Theoretical Physics. Astrophysics Group Universidad de Alcalá.

Space Plasmas & Astroparticle Group.

Universidad de Alcalá.

Space Research Group (SRG-UAH).

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

Faculty of Computing Sciences. Collaborative Learning Group Ciclope.

Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA).

Department of Astrophysics.

Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA).

Department of Astrophysics. Virtual Observatory.

Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA).

Department of Instrumentation.

Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA).

Department of Space Programs & Systems.

Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Aeroespacial (INTA).

Department of Space Sciences and Electronical Technologies.

Observatorio Astronómico Nacional (OAN).


Division of Astroparticle Physics.

- AstroMadrid Industries

- Madrid Cluster Aeroespacial Introduction Astronomy and Astrophysics are experiencing a golden era. Just the last 10-20 years have brought epochal discoveries which have excited the society, from the first planets orbiting around other stars to the accelerating Universe, dominated by the still-enigmatic Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Europe is at the forefront of all areas of contemporary astronomy. In a world of ever-fiercer global competition, European astronomy has reached its current position by learning to cooperate on a multilateral basis, especially through the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the European Space Agency (ESA). Yet, the backbone of European Astronomy remains the scientists, the research programs and the technological developments at national universities, research organizations and specialized industries.

These enormous advances in all fields of Astrophysics have been triggered by the technological developments of the last decades. Ground based observatories have increased their collecting power by a factor of 6, with active optical systems that provide superb image quality, even correcting from the effect of the atmosphere. The new detectors have completely replaced the old photographic plates and primitive electronic devices, producing data of exceptional quality, with a very large dynamic range. A fleet of powerful space observatories provide now access to all energy ranges, from far infrared to high energy gamma rays. A network of smaller robotic telescopic cover all the world examining automatically the sky searching for optical transient events (supernova explosions, gamma ray bursts,…). The probes of the Cosmos include presently also the analysis on space of the high energy particles originated in several astrophysical scenarios, complementing the capabilities of the large arrays operating from the ground. Finally, the power of the new computers and mass memories has allowed to develop complex mathematical simulations and models of different astrophysical scenarios. Organizing the huge volumes of data becoming available has been made possible thanks to new tools for data archiving and data mining, within the framework of the so-called Virtual Observatory, an international effort to develop a network connecting all astronomical databases over the World.

The astrophysics researchers working on different Universities and Institutes in the Comunidad de Madrid have contributed very significantly to the technological developments of the last 2 decades. Just to mention some examples, researchers in Comunidad de Madrid have contributed to the development of space instrumentation (INTEGRAL-OMC, JWST-MIRI, MINISAT-LEGRI/EURD, Herschel, AMS, MSL Curiosity), high energy ground based observatories (MAGIC, Pierre Auger), ground based instruments (GTC-EMIR, GTC-FRIDA, MEGARA, robotic telescopes), the Virtual Observatory and state of the art models and cosmological simulations. Aerospace companies located in Comunidad de Madrid have contributed significantly to most of these projects, in close collaboration with the research groups.

Professional Astronomy started in Madrid with the creation of the National Observatory (Observatorio Astronómico Nacional – OAN) in 1790, located in the Retiro gardens, then at the outskirts of Madrid. The creation in the late 70’s of last century of specialized studies in Astrophysics at the Faculty of Physics of Universidad Complutense marked the definitive push to modern Astronomy and Astrophysics in Madrid. Since then several research groups working on Astronomy and Astrophysics were constituted, associated to different institutions: university departments, INTA, CSIC, OAN, Ciemat,… The geographical spread within the Comunidad de Madrid, together with the administrative splitting in different institutions, have jeopardized in the past the constitution of homogeneous groups with the strength required to lead the development of complex instruments at international level.

To solve these problems and minimize the negative effects of this geographical and administrative spread, the government of Comunidad de Madrid has funded in the last years

the activities of several networks constituted by some of the different groups and industries:

ASTRID and AstroCAM (2006-2009), and presently AstroMadrid (2010-2013). The main objective of these networks was to constitute multidisciplinary teams that would benefit from the sinergies originated by each individual group to optimize the development of astronomical instruments. The complementarity of skills and know-how of the different participating groups has allowed to optimize ongoing and future developments by sharing

facilities, tools and expertise:

Moreover, this activity benefits and will benefit directly from the close collaboration already established with the aerospace companies located in Comunidad de Madrid. Most of the ongoing projects are being performed in collaboration between the research centers and the industries. The development of astronomical instrumentation is indeed a field where close coordination between public institutions and private companies has been in place for many years, as it has been officially recognized at national level.

Acting as a coordinated, single entity, the pool of research groups and specialized industries in the Comunidad de Madrid constitute already one of the leading actors at European level in the field of Astrophysical research and instrumentation, developing state of the art technologies. In this dossier we compile the basic information of the research groups and industries involved in Astronomy and Astrophysics, and associated technological development, in Comunidad de Madrid. Its main objective is to provide homogeneous information and to foster further coordination in the future, establishing the starting point for the constitution of the future Madrid Astrophysics Network, an entity that would have the scientific and technological strength required to lead the future development of complex instruments at international level.

Research Groups Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Department of Earth Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics II.

Extragalactic Astrophysics.

Contact information:

Affiliation & Address: Departamento de Astrofísica y Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Facultad CC. Físicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. 28040 Madrid (Spain).

Contact persons: Jesús Gallego, Jaime Zamorano Website: http://guaix.fis.ucm.es/ Staff researchers: 5 Postdoctoral/contracted researchers: 3

Areas of expertise and capabilities:

Keywords: Early type galaxies; star-forming galaxies; deep surveys; galaxy evolution;

extragalactic databases.

–  –  –

The UCM group for Extragalactic Astrophysics and Astronomical Instrumentation (GUAIX, from the acronym in Spanish) was created in 2007 with the goal to join the efforts of the Star-forming Galaxies group, the Elliptical Galaxies group and the Astronomical Instrumentation group. At this moment, the group is composed of a grand total of 20 researchers: six full professors (J. Zamorano, J. Gorgas, J.

Gallego, N. Cardiel, P.G. Pérez González and A. Gil de Paz), one assistant professor (Á. Castillo), two postdoctoral researchers (S. Pascual, C. Eliche) and eight Ph. D. students. This group is considered with the code 921317 in the catalog of research groups of the UCM.

The group relies on the UCM workshops and laboratories, including several technical centers for support to the research (Centros de Apoyo a la Investigación, CAIs). The group has also created a toplevel laboratory for advanced instrumentation (LICA; from the acronym in Spanish; P.I. J. Zamorano;

http://guaix.fis.ucm.es/lica/) which is one of the strategic initiatives of the International Campus Moncloa of Excellence (http://www.campusmoncloa.es/) created by Universidad Complutense and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. This laboratory is specialized in characterization of detectors and all kind of optical components in the optical and near-infrared.

Main lines of research are both early and star-forming galaxies at different redshifts. The group leads the ESO/GTC large program SHARDS (Survey for High-z Absorption Red and Dead Sources; P.I. PérezGonzález; http://guaix.fis.ucm.es/~pgperez/SHARDS/) and belongs to several international projects.

Scientific publications of the group in journals with referee: 2005: 21; 2006: 19; 2007: 26; 2008: 41;

2009: 30; 2010: 83; 2011: 64. Citations grand total about 10,000.

Average contributions per year to meetings: 11 at national level and 25 at International level.

Stable international collaborations SHARDS (Survey for High-z Absorption Red and Dead Sources). P.I. P.G. Pérez-González.

http://guaix.fis.ucm.es/~pgperez/SHARDS/ Long term ESO/GTC program approved in 2009A carried out during 20 nights in 2010-2013. It consists in imaging observations of the entire GOODS-North region in 25 medium-band different filters with GTC/OSIRIS covering the wavelength range between 500 and 950 nm with contiguous passbands. The depth of the survey is at least 26.5 mag at the 3σ level in all filters. The main scientific goal of SHARDS is carrying out an unbiased spectro-photometric survey of passively evolving galaxies at 1.0z2.5 and measuring stellar population ages through the direct measurement of the Mg(UV) absorption index.

AEGIS (All-wavelength Extended Groth International Survey). P.I. S. Faber; J. Gallego core member.

http://aegis.ucolick.org International collaboration led by the extragalactic group of Lick Observatory to carry out all kind of extragalactic surveys and studies in the main cosmological surveys. UCM is the only Spanish group participant.

GOYA (Galaxy origins and young assembly). P.I. R. Guzmán; J. Gallego core member.

http://www.astro.ufl.edu/GOYA/home.html The GOYA Project studies the structure, dynamic, gas content, and stellar population of galaxies at high redshift. The foundation of the GOYA Project is a near-IR spectroscopic survey of 2500 galaxies at z1 using 30 guaranteed nights with EMIR, a cryogenic near-IR multi-slit spectrograph at the 10.4-m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC).

MILES. N. Cardiel and J. Gorgas core members.

http://miles.iac.es/ A new stellar library developed for stellar population synthesis models for the study of stars and galaxies, and their evolution. The library consists of ~1000 stars spanning a large range in atmospheric parameters.

Fireball, meteor and Light Pollution group of Universidad Complutense de Madrid. P.I. Zamorano.

https://guaix.fis.ucm.es/ The group studies the effects of light pollution in Spain and works to reduce its impact by promoting a more efficient public lighting.

Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Department of Earth Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics II.

Stellar Astrophysics.

Contact information:

Affiliation & Address: Depto. de Astrofísica y Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. 28040 Madrid (Spain).

Contact person: David Montes, María José Fernández-Figueroa Website: http://www.ucm.es/info/Astrof/invest/actividad/actividad.html Staff researchers: 5 Postdoctoral/contracted researchers: 3

Areas of expertise and capabilities:

Keywords: Cool stars; stellar activity; chromosphere; corona; high-resolution spectroscopy; X-ray observations; stellar spectral libraries; stellar clusters; kinematics;

stellar kinematic groups; young associations; young stars; pre-main sequence stars; starforming regions; stellar atmospheres; stellar parameters; abundances; ages; radial velocities; rotation; flare stars; binary systems; chromospherically active binaries;

common proper motion stars; very low mass stars; substellar objects; brown dwarfs;

planetary mass objects; exoplanets.

Description of activity and achievements:

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