Joao Alves

Portrait of Joao Alves

© Barbara Mair

What is the origin of these structures as large as 10,000 light years? How do star formation regions evolve and spread out within these structures? How are they correlated to the traditional views on spiral arms? This ERC project aims at the development and application of a new observing technique using ESO and ESA telescopes to follow the 3D movement of interstellar gas for the first time. Gas flow is a fundamental physical property of galaxies, which fuels the formation of stars and the evolution of galaxies. Knowledge of the current 3D movement of gases means opening a new window to exploring the still poorly understood process of how gas clouds and spiral arms form, and allows us to better understand the origin of stars and planets in the Milky Way.