This article relies largely or entirely on a single source .(July 2021)
The Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey  is a project to exploit the latest generation of ground-based wide-field survey facilities to study cosmology and galaxy formation and evolution. GAMA will bring together data from a number of world class instruments:
Data from these instruments will be used to construct a state-of-the-art multi-wavelength database of ~375,000 galaxies in the local Universe over a 360 deg2 region of sky, based on a spectroscopic redshift survey on the AAT's AAOmega spectrograph.
The main objective of GAMA is to study structure on scales of 1 kpc to 1 Mpc. This includes galaxy clusters, groups, mergers and coarse measurements of galaxy structure (i.e., bulges and discs). It is on these scales where baryons play a critical role in the galaxy formation and subsequent evolutionary processes and where our understanding of structure in the Universe breaks down.
GAMA's primary goal is to test the CDM paradigm of structure formation. In particular, the key scientific objectives are:
In August 2012 GAMA received worldwide attention for its announcement of a galaxy system very similar to our own Milky-Way Magellanic Cloud system, centred on GAMA202627.
Dark matter is a hypothetical form of matter thought to account for approximately 85% of the matter in the universe. Dark matter is called "dark" because it does not appear to interact with the electromagnetic field, which means it does not absorb, reflect, or emit electromagnetic radiation and is, therefore, difficult to detect. Various astrophysical observations – including gravitational effects which cannot be explained by currently accepted theories of gravity unless more matter is present than can be seen – imply dark matter's presence. For this reason, most experts think that dark matter is abundant in the universe and has had a strong influence on its structure and evolution.
The study of galaxy formation and evolution is concerned with the processes that formed a heterogeneous universe from a homogeneous beginning, the formation of the first galaxies, the way galaxies change over time, and the processes that have generated the variety of structures observed in nearby galaxies. Galaxy formation is hypothesized to occur from structure formation theories, as a result of tiny quantum fluctuations in the aftermath of the Big Bang. The simplest model in general agreement with observed phenomena is the Lambda-CDM model—that is, that clustering and merging allows galaxies to accumulate mass, determining both their shape and structure.
A galaxy is a system of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas, dust, dark matter, bound together by gravity. The word is derived from the Greek galaxias (γαλαξίας), literally 'milky', a reference to the Milky Way galaxy that contains the Solar System. Galaxies, averaging an estimated 100 million stars, range in size from dwarfs with less than a hundred million stars, to the largest galaxies known – supergiants with one hundred trillion stars, each orbiting its galaxy's center of mass. Most of the mass in a typical galaxy is in the form of dark matter, with only a few percent of that mass visible in the form of stars and nebulae. Supermassive black holes are a common feature at the centres of galaxies.
A globular cluster is a spheroidal conglomeration of stars. Globular clusters are bound together by gravity, with a higher concentration of stars towards their centers. They can contain anywhere from tens of thousands to many millions of member stars. Their name is derived from Latin globulus. Globular clusters are occasionally known simply as "globulars".
Star clusters are large groups of stars. Two main types of star clusters can be distinguished: globular clusters are tight groups of ten thousand to millions of old stars which are gravitationally bound, while open clusters are more loosely clustered groups of stars, generally containing fewer than a few hundred members, and are often very young. Open clusters become disrupted over time by the gravitational influence of giant molecular clouds as they move through the galaxy, but cluster members will continue to move in broadly the same direction through space even though they are no longer gravitationally bound; they are then known as a stellar association, sometimes also referred to as a moving group.
Astronomy is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics, physics, and chemistry in order to explain their origin and evolution. Objects of interest include planets, moons, stars, nebulae, galaxies, and comets. Relevant phenomena include supernova explosions, gamma ray bursts, quasars, blazars, pulsars, and cosmic microwave background radiation. More generally, astronomy studies everything that originates beyond Earth's atmosphere. Cosmology is a branch of astronomy that studies the universe as a whole.
The Magellanic Clouds are two irregular dwarf galaxies in the southern celestial hemisphere. Orbiting the Milky Way galaxy, these satellite galaxies are members of the Local Group. Because both show signs of a bar structure, they are often reclassified as Magellanic spiral galaxies. The two galaxies are:
A massive astrophysical compact halo object (MACHO) is a kind of astronomical body that might explain the apparent presence of dark matter in galaxy halos. A MACHO is a body that emits little or no radiation and drifts through interstellar space unassociated with any planetary system. Since MACHOs are not luminous, they are hard to detect. MACHO candidates include black holes or neutron stars as well as brown dwarfs and unassociated planets. White dwarfs and very faint red dwarfs have also been proposed as candidate MACHOs. The term was coined by astrophysicist Kim Griest.
Spiral galaxies form a class of galaxy originally described by Edwin Hubble in his 1936 work The Realm of the Nebulae and, as such, form part of the Hubble sequence. Most spiral galaxies consist of a flat, rotating disk containing stars, gas and dust, and a central concentration of stars known as the bulge. These are often surrounded by a much fainter halo of stars, many of which reside in globular clusters.
The Tarantula Nebula is a large H II region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), forming its south-east corner.
The Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO), formerly the Anglo-Australian Observatory, was an optical and near-infrared astronomy observatory with its headquarters in North Ryde in suburban Sydney, Australia. Originally funded jointly by the United Kingdom and Australian governments, it was managed wholly by Australia's Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. The AAO operated the 3.9-metre Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) and 1.2-metre UK Schmidt Telescope (UKST) at Siding Spring Observatory, located near the town of Coonabarabran, Australia.
Observational cosmology is the study of the structure, the evolution and the origin of the universe through observation, using instruments such as telescopes and cosmic ray detectors.
A galactic halo is an extended, roughly spherical component of a galaxy which extends beyond the main, visible component. Several distinct components of galaxies comprise the halo:
According to modern models of physical cosmology, a dark matter halo is a basic unit of cosmological structure. It is a hypothetical region that has decoupled from cosmic expansion and contains gravitationally bound matter. A single dark matter halo may contain multiple virialized clumps of dark matter bound together by gravity, known as subhalos. Modern cosmological models, such as ΛCDM, propose that dark matter halos and subhalos may contain galaxies. The dark matter halo of a galaxy envelops the galactic disc and extends well beyond the edge of the visible galaxy. Thought to consist of dark matter, halos have not been observed directly. Their existence is inferred through observations of their effects on the motions of stars and gas in galaxies and gravitational lensing. Dark matter halos play a key role in current models of galaxy formation and evolution. Theories that attempt to explain the nature of dark matter halos with varying degrees of success include cold dark matter (CDM), warm dark matter, and massive compact halo objects (MACHOs).
A satellite galaxy is a smaller companion galaxy that travels on bound orbits within the gravitational potential of a more massive and luminous host galaxy. Satellite galaxies and their constituents are bound to their host galaxy, in the same way that planets within our own solar system are gravitationally bound to the Sun. While most satellite galaxies are dwarf galaxies, satellite galaxies of large galaxy clusters can be much more massive. The Milky Way is orbited by about fifty satellite galaxies, the largest of which is the Large Magellanic Cloud.
Galaxy mergers can occur when two galaxies collide. They are the most violent type of galaxy interaction. The gravitational interactions between galaxies and the friction between the gas and dust have major effects on the galaxies involved. The exact effects of such mergers depend on a wide variety of parameters such as collision angles, speeds, and relative size/composition, and are currently an extremely active area of research. Galaxy mergers are important because the merger rate is a fundamental measurement of galaxy evolution. The merger rate also provides astronomers with clues about how galaxies bulked up over time.
In astronomy, stellar kinematics is the observational study or measurement of the kinematics or motions of stars through space.
High-velocity clouds (HVCs) are large collections of gas found throughout the galactic halo of the Milky Way. Their bulk motions in the local standard of rest have velocities which are measured in excess of 70–90 km s−1. These clouds of gas can be massive in size, some on the order of millions of times the mass of the Sun, and cover large portions of the sky. They have been observed in the Milky Way's halo and within other nearby galaxies.
The Eridanus II Dwarf is a low-surface brightness dwarf galaxy in the constellation Eridanus. Eridanus II was independently discovered by two groups in 2015, using data from the Dark Energy Survey. This galaxy is probably a distant satellite of the Milky Way. Li et al., 2016. Eridanus II contains a centrally located globular cluster; and is the smallest, least luminous galaxy known to contain a globular cluster. Crnojević et al., 2016. Eridanus II is significant, in a general sense, because the widely accepted Lambda CDM cosmology predicts the existence of many more dwarf galaxies than have yet been observed. The search for just such bodies was one of the motivations for the ongoing Dark Energy Survey observations. Eridanus II has special significance because of its apparently stable globular cluster. The stability of this cluster, near the center of such a small, diffuse, galaxy places constraints on the nature of dark matter. Brandt 2016.