Dr. Hong-Xin ZHANG (张红欣)
Professor of Astronomy
Department of Astronomy, University of Science and Technology of China
Hefei, Anhui 230026, China
Lihua Building, Rm 18-012
hzhang18 at ustc.edu.cn


Formation and Evolution of Galaxies: from Dwarfs to Giants

Galaxies are the lighthouses of the mostly dark Universe, and they span more than six orders of magnitude in luminosities and masses. The formation and evolution of galaxies have been deeply influencing both the visible and invisible (e.g., dark matter) parts of the Universe. The general topic of galaxy formation and evolution is at the forefront of modern astrophysics. Our research touches several aspects of nearby dwarf and giant galaxies, including their stellar structures, kinematics, interstellar medium, and how these properties change in response to interactions between galaxies. We enjoy the practice of learning physical properties of galaxies by synthesizing (aided by models and simulations) multi-wavelength observational data taken from various telescopes. See here for details of our research.

The picture to the right (Image Credit: ESA/Hubble/R.Gendler) shows an optical view of the Andromeda Galaxy (the nearest giant neighbor of the Milky Way) and its dwarf companioons. Besides the "host" Andromeda Galaxy, the most spectacular satellite galaxies visible in the picture are the Compact Elliptical galaxy M32 (slightly to the left of Andromeda's center) and the Dwarf Elliptical galaxy NGC 205 (to the bottom right of the center).

Research Group


  • Zesen Lin (林泽森), 2020-2022, (research topics: interstellar gas and dust, star clusters)
  • Graduate Students

  • Guangwen Chen (陈广文), 2018-, (research topics: galaxy interactions, galaxy disks, compact dwarfs)
  • Lijun Chen (陈李俊), 2019-, (research topics: HI 21cm mapping, compact dwarfs)
  • Bojun Tao (陶柏钧), 2020-, (research topics: deep imaging, galaxy halo)
  • Yuzhu Sun (孙雨竹), 2021-, (research topics: HI 21cm mapping, almost dark galaxies)
  • Tie Li (李铁), 2022-, (research topics: IFU spectroscopy, stellar population of dwarf galaxies)
  • Weibin Sun (孙卫斌), 2023-, (research topics: spectral energy modeling, HI 21cm mapping, high-z starburst, merging dwarfs)
  • Wenhe Lv (吕温和), 2023- (research topics: optical spectroscopy, nuclear star clusters)
  • Undergraduate Students

  • Yimeng Tang (唐毅萌), 2018-2022, (Thesis: 利用积分视场光谱研究近邻星系演化)
  • Qianhui Chen (陈千惠), 2018-2021, (Thesis: 星系盘上星族的空间分布)
  • Yan Fang (方严), 2020-2020 (Thesis: 利用MaNGA数据研究星系相互作用对恒星形成活动的影响)
  • Jiaxin Dong (董佳欣), 2022-2022 (Thesis: 利用MaNGA数据研究盘星系双偏折径向轮廓的形成机制)
  • Siyuan Huang (黄思远), 2022-2022 (Thesis: 使用表面亮度波动法估计晚型星系的距离)
  • Shian Feng (冯世桉), 2022-2022 (Thesis: 利用HSC-SSP图像探测卫星星系)
  • Tie Li (李铁), 2022-2022 (Thesis: 基于IFU光谱数据研究矮星系的金属丰度分布)
  • Wenhe Lv (吕温和), 2022-2023 (Thesis: 基于X-Shooter/VLT的近邻核星团星族性质研究)
  • Ongoing Project

    AVID: Atomic gas in Virgo Interacting Dwarfs

    Highlighted Research

    Our discovery of a gas-rich dwarf merger event was highlighted by the American Astronomical Society Nova (click the picture for more)

    Our study of neutral atomic hydrogen gas and numerical simulations of a dwarf merger was highlighted by Nature Astronomy (click the picture for more)

    Our discovery of a similar mass-metallicity relation of UCDs and nuclei of dwarf elliptical galaxies was highlighted by Nature Astronomy (click the picture for more)

    Worldwide Telescopes used for our Research

    Telescopes working in the optical and near-infrared can collect information about stellar ages, chemical abundances, kinematics and masses; telescopes working in the far-infrared can collect information about the dust obscured stellar populations; telescopes working in the (sub-)mm wavelengths can collect information about properties of cold gas that is nursery of new star formation; telescopes working in the mm to cm wavelengths can collect information about warm-hot gas properties that may be affected by star formation or active galactic nuclei.

    KPNO 4m

    CTIO 4m

    NTT 3.6m

    MMT 6.5m

    Magellan 6.5m

    JCMT 15m




    Standing inside NTT

    Selected Recent Publications

  • Dwarf galaxies with the highest concentration are not thicker than ordinary dwarf galaxies , L. J. Chen, H.-X. Zhang^{*}, Z. Lin et al., 2023, arXiv:2309.05052, ApJ in press
  • Unveiling the formation of NGC 2915 with MUSE: A counter-rotating stellar disk embedded in a disordered gaseous environment , Y. M. Tang, B.J. Tao, H.-X. Zhang^{*}, G.W. Chen et al., 2022, A&A, 668, 179
  • Discovery of a Bimodal Environmental Distribution of Compact Ellipticals in the Local Universe , G.W. Chen, H.-X. Zhang^{*}, X. Kong^{*} et al., 2022, ApJL, 934, 2
  • The Blue Compact Dwarf Galaxy VCC 848 Formed by Dwarf-Dwarf Merging: HI Gas, Star Formation, and Numerical Simulations, H.-X. Zhang, R. Smith, S.-H. Oh, P. Sanjaya et al., 2020, ApJ, 900, 2
  • The Blue Compact Dwarf Galaxy VCC 848 Formed by Dwarf-Dwarf Merging, H.-X. Zhang, P. Sanjaya, R. Smith, P.-A., Duc, T.H. Puzia et al., 2020, ApJL, 891, L23
  • Teaching

  • Introduction to Radio Astronomy
  • Galactic Astronomy

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