The Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS) is an astronomical survey designed to probe the formation and evolution of galaxies as a function of both cosmic time (redshift) and the local galaxy environment. The survey covers a 2 square degree equatorial field with spectroscopy and X-ray to radio imaging by most of the major space-based telescopes and a number of large ground based telescopes. Over 2 million galaxies are detected, spanning 75% of the age of the Universe. COSMOS is led by Caitlin Casey, Jeyhan Kartaltepe, and Vernesa Smolcic and involves more than 200 scientists in a dozen countries. More information on the COSMOS team members can be found here.
A team of COSMOS researchers studied jets escaping active galactic nuclei (AGN) to investigate what causes their bending. For this, they used radio data from the VLA and X-ray observations from Chandra/XMM-Newton to measure the "bent angle", i.e., the angle the jets form to each other in a two-sided source. The angle is related to the environment in which the AGN hosts reside and compared to magnetohydrodynamic simulations. It is found that the evolution of the environment surrounding the sources affects their radio structures and allows for more space for jet interactions.
When the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)—the long-awaited successor to the Hubble Space Telescope—becomes operational in 2022, one of its first orders of business will be mapping the earliest structures of the universe. A team of nearly 50 researchers led by scientists at Rochester Institute of Technology and University of Texas at Austin will attempt to do so through the COSMOS-Webb program, the largest General Observer program selected for JWST’s first year.
Over the course of 208.6 observing hours, the COSMOS-Webb program will conduct an ambitious survey of half a million galaxies with multi-band, high-resolution near infrared imaging and an unprecedented 32,000 galaxies in mid infrared. The scientists involved said that because COSMOS-Webb is a treasury program, they will rapidly release data to the public so it can lead to countless other studies by other researchers.
The COSMOS-Webb survey will map 0.6 square degrees of the sky—about the area of three full moons—using JWST’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument while simultaneously mapping a smaller 0.2 square degrees with the Mid Infrared Instrument (MIRI). Credit: J. Kartaltepe/RIT; C. Casey/UT Austin; A. Koekemoer/STScI
The 2021 Henry Norris Russell Lectureship, celebrating a career of eminence in astrophysical research, goes to our very own Nick Scoville (Caltech) for lifelong contributions to our understanding of molecular gas and star formation in the Milky Way and other galaxies, for visionary leadership, and for inspiring generations of early career astronomers.