| Prof. Marc Verheijen (Kapteyn Institute, University of Groningen) has received a Vici grant from NWO, The Netherlands Organisation forScientific Research. This grant from NWO's Talent Scheme allows individual scientists to build up their own research group.
Verheijen receives the Vici grant of 1.5 million Euros for the scientific exploitation of the innovative APERTIF radio camera, built by ASTRON for the Westerbork telescope. Taking advantage of phased-array technology, APERTIF will operate in the 21-cm band and enhance the survey speed of the Westerbork telescope more than tenfold. Verheijen and his team will survey large areas of the nearby Universe and map in great detail the distribution and motions of atomic hydrogen gas in and around tens of thousand of galaxies.
These observations will map the distribution of mass in galaxies, measure the dynamical state of gas disks, identify the smallest gas-rich galaxies and reveal physical processes such as (weak) tidal interactions, gas accretion and ram-pressure stripping in various cosmic environments. This provides unique information for a better understanding of how galaxies evolve in the local Universe and how they have changed their gas content over the past 3 billion years of cosmic time.
As co-PI of the APERTIF project, Verheijen will carry out his research at the nearby Kapteyn Institute in close collaboration with researchers at ASTRON.