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Galaxy Clusters and Large-scale Structure Formation and Evolution Research Group

Galaxy cluster MACSJ0717.5+3745 at redshift z=0.548
NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of the galaxy cluster MACSJ0717.5+3745 at redshift z=0.548. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the HST Frontier Fields team (STScI).

We are astronomers and scientists, postdocs, and grad students at STScI and Johns Hopkins University, working together on the study of clusters of galaxies and large-scale structure in the universe. Our research is addressing key questions in astrophysics, including

  • How and when do clusters of galaxies first form?
  • What are the impacts of dense galaxy environments on galaxy evolution?
  • What do the properties of the intracluster medium tell us about cluster physics?
  • How is dark matter in clusters distributed?
  • What do cluster-scale gravitational lenses reveal about the early universe?
  • What is the connection between massive galaxies, cluster properties, and the surrounding large-scale structure?

We are involved in a range of observational and theoretical programs. Many of us conduct research using major space and ground based telescopes, including HST, Chandra, XMM, Keck, Gemini, Subaru, ALMA — to mention just a few. Members of this research interest group have led or played a major roles in cluster surveys such as CLASH, RELICS, the HST Frontier Fields, and the eRosita all-sky survey. We are also pursuing analyses of large-scale hydrodynamical simulations of clusters and large-scale structure to help interpret the multi-wavelength observations.

Group members are also active in pursuing observations with JWST and in planning for future observations with the Vera Rubin Observatory, the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope as well as future missions such as Athena, LUVOIR and Lynx.

Leads: Marc Postman, Michelle Ntampaka

Members (not exhaustive)*:  Dan Coe,  Susan Kassin, Ray Lucas, Justin Pierel, Swara Ravindranath, Tim Rawle

Research Topics:

  • Galaxy Clusters
  • Large-scale Structure
  • Galaxy Morphology
  • Gravitational Lensing
  • Dark Matter
  • Galaxy Evolution in Dense Environments
  • Elliptical Galaxies
  • The Intracluster Medium
  • High-redshift Lensed Galaxies
  • Large Hydrodynamical Simulations
  • Multi-wavelength Studies

Related Missions & Instruments: HSTJWSTChandraeRositaXMMLSSTRomanAthenaLUVOIRLynx

Related Programs: CLASHHFFRELICSALMA Lensing Cluster Survey

Related Meetings/Symposia: Galaxy Clusters 2022: Challenging Our Cosmological Perspectives