Welcome to the home page of the Galaxy formation in a Dark Universe group. This research group, located at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, is directly funded by the Max Planck Society and lead by Andrea V. Macciò.

In the last few years, a standard model of cosmology has emerged, called the LCDM model. Ordinary luminous matter (baryons) makes up only a small fraction (about 4 percent) of the total mass density. The remaining part of the universe is dark and made up of two different ingredients: Dark Matter and Dark Energy. The theory of cold dark matter (CDM) provides now a successful framework for understanding structure formation in the universe. In a universe dominated by Cold Dark Matter (CDM) and a cosmological constant galaxy formation and evolution is a complex combination of hierarchical clustering, gas dissipation, merging events and secular evolution.

The aim of our research is to understand how galaxies form and evolve during cosmic times and to disentangle the different physical processes that contribute to shape galaxies. Our research fields include:


Disc Galaxy Formation
in a Cosmological Context
14-18 May 2012
This workshop will be focused on the successes and challenges in modelling (disk) galaxy formation from a theoretical and numerical point of view. The workshop will be held at the Haus der Astronomie in Heidelberg. For more information please visit the conference web site. or send an email to Andrea Macciò.

The Dark Energy quest:
when theory meets simulations
24-29 June 2012
The aim of this conference is to bring together expert on theoretical modeling of Dark Energy with experts on numerical techniques to better understand the effects of DE on structure formation. The workshop will be held at Max Planck conference center at the Ringberg Castle from June 24th to June 29th 2012. For more information please visit the conference web site or send an email to Andrea Macciò.

Partner Group with the Purple
Mountain Observatory
January 2012
Starting from January 2012, our Max Planck research group has extablished a four years partnership with group of Prof. Xi Kang at the Purple Mountain Observatory in Nanjing (China). We have received funds from the Max Planck Society and the Chinese Academy of Science to support student exchange, long visits and intensive scientific collaborations.