Group of Extragalactic Astrophysics and Astronomical Instrumentation (GUAIX)

Department of Earth Science and Astrophysics
Faculty of Physical Science

GUAIX is composed of more than 20 astronomers, among Professors, Postdoc researchers and PhD students. GUAIX is member of IPARCOS-UCM, (Instituto de Física de PARtículas y del COSmos de la UCM), officially created in December 2018. Most of the components of the group belong to the Earth Physics and Astrophysics Department.
The GUAIX Group is involved in the research of nearby and distant galaxies, carrying out large galaxy surveys and performing simulations. Astrophysical knowledge is also applied to combat light pollution.
The group has been specialized in the development of instrumentation for ground-based telescopes. GUAIX led the international consortium for the design and construction of the MEGARA Integral Field Unit and Multi Object high-spectral resolution visible Spectrograph for the GTC 10.4m telescope. GUAIX also participates in the construction of EMIR and FRIDA instruments for GTC. All these technological developments are being done in close collaboration with private companies belonging to the european aerospace area.
GUAIX is also leading the Spanish contribution to the pan-European consortium to design and build MOSAIC, the next generation IFU and MOS spectrograph for the European 40m giant telescope (ELT).
All instrumental activities and associated science are endorsed by R+D networks of the Madrid regional government (ASTRID, ASTROMADRID and SpaceTec networks in the past, Tec2Space network in this period).

Instrumental activities of GUAIX group are based in the Laboratory for Scientific Advanced Instrumentation (LICA) which main expertise is the development of astronomical instrumentation. LICA is considered a top priority facility by the UCM-UPM Campus de Excelencia Internacional Project. Prof. J. Zamorano is the coordinator for this facility.
Since october 2013, the LICA laboratory started activities in the new headquarters, a 60 m2 room kindly provided by the Departamento de Física de la Tierra y Astrofísica. A new large Newport 2m x 3m optical table is included.
LICA Facilities include: Test Bench for detector and VPH characterization, Fibers characterization, and S/W development Test Bench.
Since 2010 until 2017, a significant fraction of the LICA activities have been devoted to the MEGARA instrument project for the Spanish 10.4m telescope GTC.
GUAIX group also make use of the UCM Centers for Support of the Research (CAIs, Centros de Apoyo a la Investigación).

Nearby galaxies
Through the study of nearby galaxies, we can determine the evolution of galaxies over time, and more accurately limit the conditions and evolution of high redshift galaxies that we currently cannot resolve. GUAIX Group is focused on the study of the history of star formation and chemical and kinematical properties of disk systems.
Distant galaxies
The study of distant galaxies summarises the different stages of galaxy evolution from the development of the universe. Thanks to new observation techniques and increasingly powerful instruments, we have greater resources to understand distant galaxies. Main GUAIX interest is in low-mass star-forming galaxies.
Galaxy simulations
Thanks to supercomputers and better algorithms, we can now perform simulations that help us verify and expand on existing experimental knowledge about the universe, from its early stages to the present. Our researchers are currently working on simulating the formation and evolution of galaxies inside an evolving universe, using simulations with different levels of complexity.
The astrophysics of the 21st century faces great challenges in the statistical treatment of the huge amount of data available. From this emerges the need for Astrostatistics in order to process the vast amount of data produced by automated surveys, to characterize complex datasets, and to link data to theory.
Dark Skies
GUAIX participates in two European projects to preserve dark skies against Light Pollution: STARS4ALL and ACTION. We are leading the developement of the TESS-W photometer for measuring night sky brightness. Our group is also collaborating in multidisciplinary research within the Spanish Light Pollution Research Network (REECL).