How did the first galaxies form and how did they evolve to the size and structure of our Milky Way?
ALPINE (the ALMA Large Program to Investigate C+ at Early Times) is a 70 hour survey with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). The survey measures the far-infrared properties of 118 galaxies in the early Universe. These measurements are used to study the dust and gas properties of these galaxies, to ultimately understand how such galaxies form and evolve over cosmic time.
ALPINE focuses on a time roughly between 1 and 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang (8-10% of the Universe's current age), which corresponds to redshifts (z) between 4 and 6. During this time, galaxies experience a phase of rapid growth in which they build up their stellar mass and other fundamental properties that are seen in today's galaxies. This epoch is therefore important to be studied to understand galaxy evolution.
This webpage provides an overview of ALPINE for the public. For more details and access to data, we refer to the ALPINE webpage for astronomers.
We are a team of more than 50 scientists from all over the world. This team is led by a group of 8 principal investigators (PI):
O. Le Fevre
PI, Overall Project Coordination
U.S. Lead PI, responsible for ancillary data management; Outreach lead
ALMA Data Reduction Lead
(Univ. Padova, Italy)
(Univ. Geneva, Switzerland)
(IPMU Tokyo, Japan)
We also have an experienced outreach team including A. Faisst, M. Bethermin, and M. Ginolfi.
ALPINE is the largest targeted survey with ALMA. Its goal is to gain a better understanding of galaxies that live in the transitional phase between primordial galaxy formation and mature galaxy evolution. Its combination with a wealth of ancillary data products makes it the first and largest multi-wavelength survey of galaxies in the early Universe.
These are the key questions that ALPINE investigates. Click on them to learn more!Tap them to learn more!
How does the production of stars in galaxies change as a function of time?
How do internal properties of early and modern galaxies compare?
What is the interplay between star formation and galaxy dynamics?
How does the environment in which these galaxies live look like?
Specifically, the measurement of emission of singly ionized Carbon (C+) at a wavelength of 158μm informs us about the amount of gas as well as its velocity structure (rotation, outflows, etc) inside these galaxies. On the other hand, the measurement of the far-infrared continuum around the C+ emission line tells us about the amount of dust-obscured star formation as well as the dust content itself.
The ALPINE survey also combines ALMA observation with a wealth of ancillary data products. These include imaging from several ground-based large telescopes as well as the Hubble Space Telescope, deep spectroscopic measurements from the Keck Observatories and the European Verly Large Telescope, as well as infrared observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope.
Finally, ALPINE is the basis for future exploration of these galaxies with the next generation of telescopes such as the James Webb Space Telescope.
When referring to the ALPINE survey, please cite all the following papers: LeFevre et al. (2020, survey overview), Bethermin et al. (2020, ALMA data reduction), Faisst et al. (2020, ancillary data) - thank you!
Press Releases (for public):