DAGAL is an ambitious network formed of six research groups in Spain, Germany, Finland, France, and the Netherlands. The network will collaborate very closely with the Spitzer Survey of Stellar Structure in Galaxies (S4G).

We will train 8 ESRs (PhD students) and 2 ERs (postdocs) using a combination of training through high-level astrophysical research and a comprehensive package of complimentary skills training. Our network exploits a unique data set: a combination of very deep mid-infrared imaging of over 2300 local galaxies which we are obtaining with the Spitzer Space Telescope, with ground- and space-based UV, optical, and radio data. The data reach unprecedented levels of surface brightness and radial extent over a very large sample, which allows statistical studies of the distribution of old stars, thus stellar mass, young stars, and gas.

Synergising the excellence in different areas of extragalactic research across our network, we will tackle fundamental questions concerning the origin and evolution of galaxies. The combination of our Spitzer imaging with a unique set of additional data tracing the distribution and motions of old and young stars, and gas, will allow us to reveal the interplay between galactic dynamics, current star formation and star formation history.

Detailed numerical modelling is an integral part of our work plan, and will allow us to relate the present structure and dynamics of galaxies to their cosmological formation and subsequent evolution.

Our 8 ESRs (PhD students) and 2 ERs (postdocs) will be trained through this research, and through an ambitious programme of complimentary skills training. The latter will be delivered through a series of network events, covering such diverse aspects as project management, instrumentation, publishing, IT, outreach, and career training. Mobility is a key aspect of our network approach. All researchers will spend time at different nodes and at meetings, and our three private-sector associated partners will provide internships: a leading science publisher and two small hi-tech companies. Our proposed training programme will help prepare the next generation of scientists: Europe’s investment for the future.

Image credits: S4G 3.6 micron image from the S4G survey (Sheth et al. 2010) of the galaxies NGC 4321 (M100).
Image from Meidt et al. (2011)

Banner credits: IAC's astronomy picture of the month (September)



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