A new general topic that is being investigated at the VUB is extragalactic astronomy. This involves various subtopics, including:
Using mostly radio astronomical observations, we are investigating the kinematics of the gaseous components of the interstellar medium of galaxies, to derive properties of dark matter.
Dark matter is one of the greatest mysteries of the Universe: it is thought to be several times more abundant (in mass) than ordinary matter.
Less conventional ideas are also being explored, such as alternative gravity theories.
Extraplanar gas and interstellar medium in general
Using very deep observations of the neutral gas in disk galaxies, it is possible to detect gas that is outside the main disk of the galaxy.
Its distribution and kinematics are derived through modelling of the observations, and they hold clues to the origin of this extraplanar gas.
Also research is being carried out about the connection between dust and gas in galaxies.
Radio galaxies in clusters
Radio galaxies are thought to host a supermassive black hole at their centra, from which jets are ejected.
When radio galaxies are in galaxy clusters, the radio jets blow cavities in the hot X-ray emitting intracluster gas.