9 av Charles André, 69230 Saint Genis Laval
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The Lyon Centre for Astrophysics Research (CRAL) is under the joint supervision of the UCBL, the ENS-L and the CNRS.
The CRAL is renowned for its research in the physics of dense plasma applied to low-mass stars, brown dwarfs and exoplanets, on compact objects, on the characterization of habitable planets, on dark matter and dark energy, on the chemodynamics of nearby galaxies, on galaxy formation and evolution, studies of stellar populations and on high-angular-resolution R&D.
The CRAL is presently leading the European consortium that builds MUSE, a massive integral Field Spectrograph integrated at the Lyon Observatory, to be delivered to VLT in 2012.
We report on progress of the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE), a second generation VLT panoramic integral field spectrograph. MUSE is now in its final phase of integration, testing and validation in Europe. The instrument is described and some results of its measured performance are shown.
An international team of astronomers led by Mathilde Jauzac, from the Laboratoire d’astrophysique de Marseille (LAM, CNRS / Aix-Marseille Université), realized the first three-dimensional study of a cosmic dark matter filament. The team involves in France the Centre de recherche astrophysique de Lyon (CRAL, CNRS / ENS de Lyon / Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1). Using data from the Hubble space telescope , the team discovered that this filament, part of the so-called cosmic web, funnels matter into one of the most massive galaxy clusters in the Universe and extends over more than 60 million light-years. By extrapolating the very high mass measured in this filament to the rest of the « cosmic web », this study estimates that these structures should contain more that half of the toal mass of the Universe. This result is published online on the MNRAS website.
Because of their large distance and very weak luminosity, it is very difficult to detect primordial galaxies. The gravitational amplification by foreground galaxy clusters is therefore used to increase the apparent luminosity of these galaxies and our chances to discover them. Besides, these young galaxies which form many stars, must radiate the bulk of their energy in the very far infrared, due to dust heated by their young stars. The ESA satellite Herschel is the best placed to catch (...)
Using the amplifying power of a cosmic gravitational lens, astronomers have discovered a distant galaxy whose stars were born unexpectedly early in cosmic history. This result sheds new light on the formation of the first galaxies, as well as on the early evolution of the Universe.
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