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Studying the Shapes of Galaxies

by Joshua New

The Calar Alto Observatory, operated by the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia, has made six years of data from its Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area Survey (CALIFA), an ongoing study of the properties of over 600 galaxies, freely available online. The largest study of its kind, CALIFA seeks to advance understanding of four open questions about how galaxies evolve: how, when, and where metals form in galaxies; how, when, and where stars form over the lifespan of a galaxy; the mass and distribution of stars, gases, and dark matter; and the relationship between a galaxy’s structure and how stars and gases move about them.

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Image: WikiImages

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