Simon Lilly's Observational Cosmology Research Group

Simon Lilly's Observational Cosmology Research Group

Prof. Dr. Lilly
HIT J 11.2
+41 44 633 38 28 T
Stanija Cutkovic
HIT J 13.2
+41 44 633 25 53 T



Our group seeks to understand the formation and evolution of galaxies and other structure in the Universe. We use observational data on the distant Universe that we obtain at the best ground-based and space-based observatories, such as the 8-m European VLT and the Hubble Space Telescope, in combination with analysis of large surveys of the local Universe.

Our goal is to understand how and why our Universe has come to have the appearance that it does, and thereby to better appreciate our own place in it.


The evolution of galaxies: We seek to chart how galaxies have evolved over cosmic time, and to identify and understand those physical processes that have shaped their properties in different environments and at different epochs. Our flagship project is zCOSMOS, a major redshift survey using 600 hours on the ESO VLT to obtain redshifts of approximately 30,000 galaxies in... read more


The intergalactic medium: As an extension of our interest in the environment of galaxies, we are developing new ways to detect the intergalactic medium (IGM), the gaseous material between galaxies. Galaxies form out of the IGM and exchange material with it throughout their lives. We are currently working on detecting and characterizing galactic outflows... read more


Magnetic fields in galaxies: The origin of galactic-scale magnetic fields is poorly understood, and their role in cosmic structure formation is unknown, and thus they usually ignored. We are trying to fill this gap by detecting magnetic fields in and around galaxies at high redshift.


Galaxies as cosmological probes: Very large samples of galaxies at different redshifts are increasingly being used as precision probes of the dynamical evolution of the Universe as a whole, especially to study the emergence of Dark Energy over the redshift interval 0 < z < 2. The ultimate success of this effort will require the detailed consideration of the evolving properties... read more


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