XTREME: The Extended Interstellar Medium of Extreme Galaxies
The goal of XTREME, which is funded by the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation is to perform a systematic multi-wavelength spectroscopic study of the physical properties of the extended regions of nearby luminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs), combining the power of some of the largest ground- and space-based telescopes, past and present: Spitzer, Herschel, Hubble Space Telescope and ALMA. The broad coverage of the electromagnetic spectrum, from the ultraviolet/optical to the sub-millimeter, provided by these observatories is enabling Dr. Tanio Diaz Santos and his team to investigate for the first time the multi-phase nature of the interstellar medium in LIRGs.
XTREME has been precisely designed to address pressing topics in the field of galaxy evolution enabling a breakthrough in our knowledge of the star formation process. Investigating the properties of deeply obscured, nuclear star formation in nearby and high-z IR-luminous galaxies will be one of the main goals of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is was launched at the end of 2021, just before the project commenced. The team of expects that the results of XTREME will pave the way for further exploration by JWST of the hot dust content and physics of resolved star-forming regions in LIRGs and their implications for galaxy evolution.