Professor of the Graduate School, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy
- 315 Campbell Hall
Astronomy, Formation of Galaxies, Evolution of Galaxies, Conversion of Interstellar Gases, Milky Way, Dark Matter, Dwarf Galaxies, Interstellar Medium, High Velocity Clouds, Hydrogen Atom
My current research interests focus mainly on how galaxies (including the Milky Way) form and evolve into the objects we see today and how the interstellar gas within galaxies is collected to form stars (including the Sun and Solar System). Items of current active interest include trying to understand the nature of dark matter on galactic scales, particularly in dwarf galaxies and in the outer parts of the Milky Way. I am also working on how the diffuse interstellar medium generates star-forming giant molecular clouds in different environments to unravel the basic physics of star formation on galactic scales. We operate an array of fifteen millimeter-wave radio telescopes as part of the CARMA Array, near Bishop, California. We are building the Allen Telescope Array, a new type of radio interferometer of 350 dishes using commercial satellite dish technology to synthesize an aperture of 10,000 square meters for use at centimeter wavelengths.
Leo Blitz received his B.S. from Cornell University in 1967, his M.A. from Columbia University in 1975, and his Ph.D. Columbia University in 1979.
The CARMA EDGE survey will provide a measurement of the distribution of molecular gas in a statistically significant sample of over one hundred galaxies. The survey targets the J = 1-0 transition of CO and its 13CO isotopologue, which trace the bulk of the cold, star-forming gas. Paired with matched IFU mapping of the entire optical spectrum, this survey enables studies of resolved star formation efficiencies and histories, gas and stellar kinematics, nebular extinctions, and ionized gas properties across the Hubble sequence. The EDGE survey is designed to move the field of millimeter-wave interferometry from the piecemeal collection of case studies into the realm of large samples.