Research Team / Research Group Name (if any)
Brief description of the Research Team / Research Group / Department
The Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) completed back in 2017 the construction and installation of the MEGARA instrument at the 10.4m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), the largest optical telescope on Earth. MEGARA offers both Integral Field Unit (IFU) (covering 12.5" x 11.3") and Multi-Object Spectroscopy (MOS) (92x multiplexing) capabilities at intermediate-to-high spectral resolutions (R~6000, 12000 and 20000). Our team is already producing scientific results from early MEGARA observations: Dullo et al. (2019), Catalán-Torrecilla et al. (2020), García-Vargas et al. (2020), Cazzoli et al. (2020). The fellow would have the opportunity to work with researchers at the UCM and collaborate with other scientists within the MEGARA Science Team and lead some observing programs based on the exploitation of the instrument Guaranteed Time at GTC.<br /><br />The PI and the MEGARA Team at UCM belong to GUAIX (UCM Group of Extragalactic Astrophysics and Astronomical Instrumentation), which is part of the "Departamento de Física de la Tierra y Astrofísica". Our group has received an Excellence evaluation by the UCM and has a proven record in research, talent recruitment and both national and international fundraising. The MEGARA consortium responsible for the design and construction of the instrument is composed by the UCM, where the MEGARA PI (Armando Gil de Paz) is located, INAOE (Mexico), the IAA (CSIC, Spain) and the UPM (Spain).
Research lines / projects proposed
The propose project is focused on the exploitation of the >400 hours of Guaranteed Time of the group on the MEGARA instrument at GTC, which has started regular observations as a facility instrument in July 2018.The characteristics of the MEGARA instrument are driven by the scientific requirements set by our MEGARA Science Team (50 astronomers from different institutions worldwide). Therefore, MEGARA is best optimized for carrying out that science, although, as a versatile facility instrument, can easily pursue many other research projects in Astronomy.<br /><br />Thus, the scientific interests of the MEGARA Science Team can be grouped into 2 categories:<br />- The study of Galactic and extragalactic nebulae (i.e. nearby galaxies).<br />- The study of point sources with intermediate-to-high surface densities.<br /><br />Among the former our interests include the study of nearby galaxies, Planetary Nebulae, and high-redshift diffuse Lyman-alpha emission and among the latter Galactic open stellar clusters, stellar populations in Local Group galaxies, Globular-Cluster systems in nearby galaxies, intermediate-redshift dwarf and starburst galaxies, and high-redshift galaxy clusters are the main subject of our planned research activities with MEGARA.<br /><br />The fellow is invited to take advantage of the Guaranteed Time of the UCM, for carrying out her/his own science both as part of the exploitation phase of MEGARA using also any of the other facilities to which the UCM has access, such as telescopes at La Palma, Calar Alto, and ESO/ALMA observatories. Our group and department will provide office space and computing facilities along with a friendly environment and complementary formation on soft skills plus financial support. We also provide individualized support in the preparation phase of MSCA - IF grants.<br />