Department of Physics and Astronomy

Starburst galaxies

Starbursts are galaxies with extreme star-forming properties. These objects are known to produce numerous super star clusters, are believed to ignite powerful active galactic nuclei, and may have been an important source of ionizing photons during the reionization epoch of the Universe

The starburst in the central region of the nearby galaxy NGC 1569, featuring two prominent super star clusters (blue objects to the left). Image: ESA, NASA and P. Anders (Göttingen University Galaxy Evolution Group, Germany)

But how is the starburst phase triggered? How long does it last? And how important are starbursts for galaxy evolution in general and how do they relate to other galaxy types? To address these issues, members of our group are using a combination of observations, numerical models and large astronomical databases.

The Antennae – two interacting galaxies with prominent star formation in the local Universe. Image: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Contacts: Nils Bergvall, Kjell Olofsson, Erik Zackrisson