SFB 881 - "The Milky Way System"
Welcome to the Collaborative Research Center "The Milky Way System"
The origin of the Milky Way and fundamental issues connected with galaxy evolution are the focus of the Collaborative Research Center (Sonderforschungsbereich, SFB) 881 "The Milky Way System" at Heidelberg University.
The research work of SFB 881 revolves around our own galaxy, the Milky Way, a typical spiral galaxy and hence a member of the most common class of massive galaxies in the universe.
The scientists involved in the SFB will investigate the origins and evolution of the Milky Way in order to clarify fundamental principles of galaxy formation. Due to our location in the Milky Way, our Galaxy is a unique laboratory for the detailed exploration of the physical processes determining galaxy evolution. It is the only place where we can engage in "galactic archaeology" and use the stars as fossil indicators of chemical evolution and the cosmic matter cycle.
Other aims of the research work done by SFB 881 are to test the predictions of cosmological models on galaxy formation and to investigate the small-scale distribution of dark matter.
The SFB 881 is located at Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg (ZAH) and assembles scientists from the Astronomisches Rechen-Institut (ARI), the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics (ITA) and the Landessternwarte Königstuhl (LSW). Non-university research institutions involved are the Max Planck Institute of Astronomy (MPIA) and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS). In addition, the Haus der Astronomie (HdA) provides excellent opportunities for making research on the Milky Way accessible to the general public.