Astronomy

Astronomy is a very broad field of research, covering observations in various ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum, data processing and analysis, instrumentation, theoretical analyzes, simulations and computing. It comprises also many areas, from black holes to the formation of planetary systems,  going by the study  of stars, galaxies and a huge list of celestial objects.

Since the foundation of the observatory of the Universidad de los Andes, over 20 years ago, one focus of the group has been in the area of instrumentation, primarily in the construction of spectrographs used in the same observatory. It now houses a telescope of 16'' (40 cm) in diameter, equipped with various CCD cameras, and low, medium and high resolution spectrographs. With this equipment, formative observation projects for students in the areas of astrometry, photometry, spectroscopy and solar physics are performed.  The possibility of making observations  in radio is also explored.

Currently, the group also conducts border research within the observational and computational fields. In the first one, the studies are based largely, on analysis of data that are obtained by group members, in telescopes in Mexico, Argentina and Chile. Specific topics on this field, in which the group focuses are:

  • Stellar variability, performing spectroscopic and photometric  studies, in the optical and infrared bands, of galactic and extragalactic Be stars. 
  • Distance scale using Cepheid variables as indicators.
  • Astrostatistics, in the classification of variable stars by using supervised learning techniques, and in statistical analysis of the period-luminosity relation of Cepheid variables.
  • Astrometry, discriminating stellar populations in different environments such as disk open clusters and the Galactic bulge. 

In the computational field,  the group focuses on the area of galaxy formation and cosmology, with three main lines: distant galaxies, the Milky Way and the Universe at large scale. Techniques used include Monte Carlo methods for radiative transfer, cosmological N-body simulations and applications of Bayesian statistics.

Group Members:

 

More information about the research activities of this group in these links: