Lee Spitler

Lecturer at Macquarie University and the Australian Astronomical Observatory in Sydney, Australia

My research seeks to improve our understanding of how galaxies form and evolve through cosmic times. Galaxies are made up of observable objects (e.g. stars, dust, life?), so they provide an important way to understand the Universe we live in.

I am currently a member of the Z-FOURGE team, who are using the FourStar camera on the Magellan Telescope in Chile to obtain near-infrared images of some well-studied locations in the sky. We are using this data to look back into time and measure very accurate distances to galaxies when the Universe was only a few billion years old.

Complementary to this approach is the study of very nearby galaxies, which have already experienced more than 10 billion years of evolution. Our team, called SAGES, is using instruments on the Keck and Subaru telescopes in Hawaii to obtain information about the dynamical properties of galaxies in order to understand the dark matter structures they reside within. Our primary observational tools are globular star clusters, which we use to probe the outer regions of galaxies where conventional dynamical tracers are no longer available. Our main focus right now is the SLUGGS survey.

News

March 2014 - Granny galaxies observed with the Magellan Baade Telescope

January 2014 - Ultra-bright galaxies just 500 million years after Big Bang

November 2013 - OzDES survey has begun

Below are sections of Subaru/Suprime-cam mosaics I've made
Click here to see more images I've produced.

the Sombrero galaxy


massive elliptical galaxy NGC1407
NGC 1407