Interstellar Medium and Star Formation

Group Leader: João Alves

The dark cloud Barnard 68 (©ESO/Alves)

Interstellar Medium and Star Formation

How do diffuse interstellar gas clouds form, evolve, and eventuallycollapse to form stars and planets? How does the interstellar gas move in3D space across the Galaxy? How do clusters of young stars form anddisperse to build galaxies? These are some of the research questions of theISM and Star Formation group. We are an observational research groupharnessing the advanced capabilities of the European Southern Observatory(ESO) ground-based telescopes and the space telescopes of the EuropeanSpace Agency (ESA). We develop novel observational approaches and datareduction techniques to tackle fundamental astrophysical origins questions.Currently, we are focusing on the local Galactic neighborhood of the Sunand on the impact of interstellar gas on our own planet.
The group is committed to the growth and development of future scientists, and it engages in the education and mentorship of up-and-coming scholars.We share our research findings with both academics and the public to promote a common understanding of our place in the universe.

Research focus

  • ISM: characterization, 3D motion, and impact on Earth
  • Star formation and young stellar populations
  • Machine learning techniques in astronomy