Science

Besides the Sun and the planets, the Solar System as we know it today is also composed of a great number of minor bodies, distributed among three main stable repositories: the main Asteroid belt, the Transeptunian Belt and the Oort Cloud. These object are the remnants of the formation of our Solar System and hold clues to processes that happened on its early stages. Thus, with J-PLUS it will be possible to map the occurrence of water alteration in the present Solar System, which in turn will allow us to put further constraints of the presence of volatiles and of heating processes in the early Solar System.

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Stellar streams observed from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (credit: V. Belokurov and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey)

Stellar streams observed from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (credit: V. Belokurov and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey)

The position of the Sun in the Milky Way makes it almost impossible to study the structure of the Galaxy along its disk, since it is filled with gas and dust. The study of the halo, nevertheless, still harbours a large amount of information about the formation of the Galaxy and the environment in which a giant spiral galaxy evolves. J-PLUS will be able to fit the spectra of all the stars observed in the halo of the Milky Way, creating a unique catalogue of stars with their physical parameters.

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The Whirlpool galaxy (M51) and its companion (NGC 5195), a nearby interacting spiral galaxy. <i>Credits: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)</i>

The Whirlpool galaxy (M51) and its companion (NGC 5195), a nearby interacting spiral galaxy. Credits: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

J-PLUS provides 12 photometric points for each observed pixel in the ~ 8500 deg² covered by the survey. With the broad-band filters tracing the global shape of the spectral energy distribution (SED), and the narrow-band filters covering several particular and important features of the SED at z < 0.015, such as the 4000A break and the nebular emission of Ha and [OII], J-PLUS has unique capabilities to study the spatially resolved properties of nearby galaxies.

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The Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2014. (Credits: NASA, ESA, H. Teplitz and M. Rafelski (IPAC/Caltech), A. Koekemoer (STScI), R. Windhorst (Arizona State University), and Z. Levay (STScI))

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2014. (Credits: NASA, ESA, H. Teplitz and M. Rafelski (IPAC/Caltech), A. Koekemoer (STScI), R. Windhorst (Arizona State University), and Z. Levay (STScI))

The J-PLUS photometric system is well suited to study the properties of nearby galaxies (z < 0.015), where the 4000A break, and the Ha and [OII] prominent emission lines are covered by the filter set. At higher redshifts, both the lines and the break depart from the narrow-band filters and they are only observed with the standard broad-band filters. However, there are a few redshift windows beyond the nearby Universe that can be explored with J-PLUS.

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 Line of sight projection of the Large Scale Structure as seen by the Sloan BOSS survey, in galactic gnomview projection. This figure shows the number of galaxies per square degree, in the regions scanned by this survey.

Line of sight projection of the Large Scale Structure as seen by the Sloan BOSS survey, in galactic gnomview projection. This figure shows the number of galaxies per square degree, in the regions scanned by this survey.

The scientific legacy of J-PLUS is primarily expected to probe galaxy evolution processes in the local Universe. However, given its outstanding large area and filter array design, J-PLUS also allows to tackle key cosmological issues.

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