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Journal Articles L'Astronomie Year : 2016

Les galaxies


Considerable progress has been made on galaxy formation and evolution in recent years, and new issues.

The old Hubble classification according to the tuning fork of spirals, lenticulars and ellipticals, is still useful but has given place to the red sequence, the blue cloud and the green valley, showing a real bimodality of types between star forming galaxies (blue) and quenched ones (red). Large surveys have shown that stellar mass and environment density are the two main factors of the evolution from blue to red sequences. Evolution is followed directly with redshift through a look-back time of more than 12 billion years. The most distant galaxy at z=11. has already a stellar mass of a billion suns. In an apparent anti-hierarchical scenario, the most massive galaxies form stars early on, while essentially dwarf galaxies are actively star-formers now. This downsizing feature also applies to the growth of super-massive black holes at the heart of each bulgy galaxy. The feedback from active nuclei is essential to explain the distribution of mass in galaxies, and in particular to explain why the fraction of baryonic matter is so low, lower by more than a factor 5 than the baryonic fraction of the Universe. New instruments just entering in operation, like MUSE and ALMA, provide a new and rich data flow, which is developed in this series of articles.

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insu-03718943 , version 1 (10-07-2022)



Francoise Combes. Les galaxies. L'Astronomie, 2016, 130, pp.14-19. ⟨insu-03718943⟩
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