My work utilizes new "Big Data" survey programs combined with observations from premier telescopes to probe the physical processes responsible for the growth and evolution of galaxies over the last 10 billion years.
resolving the physics of galaxy formation
MaNGA: Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory
I am the founder and Principal Investigator of the 4th-generation Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-IV) program, MaNGA (Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory). After beginning survey operations on July 1st, 2014, MaNGA is obtaining resolved spectroscopy for 10,000 nearby galaxies over 6 years, nearly 140 galaxies per month. This unprecedented survey will shed new light on the life history of galaxies, providing clues about their early formation, maps characterizing their ongoing growth, and insight into the processes that eventually cause their star formation to "die out." MaNGA is a roughly $10M project with nearly 300 team members spanning more than 60 institutions across the world.
High-precision galaxy evolution with wide-field surveys
Dark energy surveys are ushering in a new era of high-precision galaxy evolution where evolving populations can be tracked with vanishing statistical uncertainties. I am working to develop the observational and interpretative framework needed to fully exploit these large-volume data sets.
The Stripe 82 Massive Galaxy Catalog
Synthetic Aperture Matched Photometry
The Stripe 82 Massive Galaxy Catalog (S82-MGC) is a collection of publicly available data products comprising the largest-volume Mstar-complete sample of galaxies beyond z > 0.1 constructed to date (Bundy et al. 2015b). The S82-MGC is being used for a number of projects (see MassiveGalaxies.com) including followup work on recent growth rate of the most massive galaxies (Bundy et al. in prep).
Exploiting wide-field surveys will require matched photometry across various data sets in order to estimate star formation histories and stellar masses, a tedious undertaking when considering hundreds or thousands of deg2. I have developed a new, extremely fast tool that uses ready-made catalog information to perform matched aperture photometry (Bundy et al. 2012). The synmag code is available here.
Assembly and growth
Dark matter halos assemble hierarchically, with increasingly larger structures built from smaller sub-components. Panoramic dark energy surveys will soon easily detect hierarchical growth in the mass assembly of galaxies for the first time. In the future, the unprecedented breadth of these new surveys will revolutionize galaxy studies by enabling precision tracking of evolutionary flows between various sub-populations characterized by star formation rates, mass, and morphological structure. Detailed follow-up with large telescopes can help reveal the processes that regulate growth.
SuMIRe: Subaru's Hyper Surpime Cam and Prime Focus Spectrograph
The 300-night Hyper Suprime Cam (HSC) survey is underway at the Subaru Telescope ahead of the 2400-fiber Prime Focus Spectrograph planned for 2019. I chaired HSC's Galaxy Working Group (2011-2015) and helped define this multi-layer survey program. HSC-Wide will span 1400 deg2 to 26th magnitude in grizY bands, opening enormous volumes to galaxy evolution work at z < 2.
Galaxy Death and Transformation
Perhaps the most fundamental and mysterious aspect of galaxy evolution since z~2 is the transformation of star-forming disks into quenched ellipticals. My work combines constraints from evolutionary surveys with resolved spectroscopy and followup using the premier telescopes to learn about the physical mechanisms that drive this evolution.
Public article for Keck's Cosmic Matters:
Copyright, K. Bundy 2015