Multi-scale Star Formation Across Nascent Galaxies


Welcome to the website of the MUSTANG research group at the Astronomisches Rechen-Institut of the Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg. The group led by Dr. Diederik Kruijssen is currently funded by Heidelberg University, an Emmy Noether Research Group from the DFG, an ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council, the DFG Collaborative Research Center SFB881 “The Milky Way System”, the Max-Planck Institut für Astronomie, and the International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy & Cosmic Physics at Heidelberg University (IMPRS-HD). We gratefully acknowledge these organisations for their support.

Few astrophysical phenomena can be understood by considering them in isolation - most of them involve multiple physical mechanisms taking place over a broad range of spatial and temporal scales. It is the main goal of astrophysical research to understand how this variety of physics combines to result in the Universe that we observe.

The research of our group focuses on one of the hallmark examples of multi-scale astrophysics: star formation in molecular clouds and feedback from massive stars during galaxy formation. It is widely accepted that the unknown physics of star formation and feedback represent the main uncertainties in our understanding of how galaxies form. The MUSTANG group combines major observational surveys of gas and young stars in galaxies across cosmic time with state-of-the-art numerical simulations of star and galaxy formation. That way, we attempt to answer fundamental open questions, such as how most stars in the Universe formed, where the ancient globular clusters came from, and how we can bridge the gap between cold dark matter cosmology and the observable galaxy population.

Among others, our research interests cover:

  1. The interstellar medium and molecular cloud evolution

  2. Star formation and feedback

  3. Globular cluster formation, evolution, and dynamics

  4. Galaxy formation and evolution

  5. Observational surveys (e.g. with ALMA and MUSE)

  6. Numerical simulations (e.g. with Arepo and GADGET)