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Lentes Gravitatorias: Una herramienta para la Cosmología y la Astrofísica - Lensing

Referencia del grupo:

GIUV2013-131

 
Descripción de la actividad investigadora:
Astrophysical objects like planets, stars, galaxies and even larger structures bend the light rays coming from distant sources to an observer on Earth. This phenomenon, known as gravitational lensing, has become an essential tool for probing astrophysical problems from cosmology to exoplanets. Observationally it leads to changes in the brightness, shapes and even the number of images we observe. Since the bending of the light rays increases with the mass of the lens, gravitational lenses are a unique means of mapping and analyzing the distribution of mass in a Universe in which virtually all matter is still of unknown nature. From the observational discovery of the first lensing phenomenon in 1979, gravitational lensing has evolved from a curiosity into an important probe of our Universe on all scales. The project is developed in coordination with the lensing group of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias; we combine our experience in theory and observations of gravitational lenses to study: the cosmological parameters from time delay measurements of gravitational lensed quasars, the dark matter properties in lens galaxies, the unresolved structure of lensed quasar, or to...Astrophysical objects like planets, stars, galaxies and even larger structures bend the light rays coming from distant sources to an observer on Earth. This phenomenon, known as gravitational lensing, has become an essential tool for probing astrophysical problems from cosmology to exoplanets. Observationally it leads to changes in the brightness, shapes and even the number of images we observe. Since the bending of the light rays increases with the mass of the lens, gravitational lenses are a unique means of mapping and analyzing the distribution of mass in a Universe in which virtually all matter is still of unknown nature. From the observational discovery of the first lensing phenomenon in 1979, gravitational lensing has evolved from a curiosity into an important probe of our Universe on all scales. The project is developed in coordination with the lensing group of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias; we combine our experience in theory and observations of gravitational lenses to study: the cosmological parameters from time delay measurements of gravitational lensed quasars, the dark matter properties in lens galaxies, the unresolved structure of lensed quasar, or to search new extra-solar planets through gravitational microlensing of stars in our Galaxy, etc. Since January of 2005 the Lensing Group at the Department of Astronomy in the University of Valencia has been always funded by the Spanish government ("Plan Nacional of I+D+i in Astronomy and Astrophysics) and has been complemented by support from other institutions such us the MARIE CURIE Research Training Network "Astrophysics Network for Galaxy Lensing Studies (ANGLES)" from the European Commission, or the Generalitat Valenciana.
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Objetivos cientificotécnicos:
  • To understand the nature of the dark energy driving the acceleration of the Universe
  • To estimate the abundance of starless dark matter satellites in the lens galaxies
  • To study the structure of quasar accretion disks, particularly their size as a function of wavelength as a probe of the temperature profile
  • To find new extra-solar planets, particularly planets like Earth in the habitable zone
 
Líneas de investigación:
  • Cosmología (energía oscura). We use the time delays in gravitationally lensed quasars to measure cosmological distances and then use them to constrain the properties of the dark energy that is driving the accelerating expansion of our Universe.
  • Estructura Galáctica (materia obscura). We are conducting a new mid-infrared imaging survey to analyze the statistic on the “anomalous flux ratios” of lensed quasars to estimate the abundance of starless dark matter satellites in the lens galaxies.
  • Discos de acrecimiento en quasares. We use the variability in lensed quasars produced by stellar microlensing to study the structure of quasar accretion disks, particularly their size as a function of wavelength as a probe of the temperature structure of the disk.
  • Planetas extra-Solares. Only very recently we are starting to discover low-mass planets like Earth. Microlensing searches are probably the most powerful probe for finding planets like Earth in the habitable zone. We work with a large international collaboration towards this extraordinary objective.
 
Componentes del grupo:
Nombre Carácter de la participación Entidad Descripción
José Antonio Muñoz LozanoDirector-a UVEG-Valencia Catedràtic-a d'Universitat
Equip d'investigació
Ana María Mosquera RoviraCol·laborador-a UVEG-Valencia Investigador-a contractat-ada