Postdoctoral researcher Matus Rybak has been awarded a NWO-XS grant from NWO. This grant will support Rybak's research on the observation of distant, dusty galaxies. This is not the first time that Rybak has received funding for his work: he previously received a Veni grant (and a Delft Space Institute Seed Grant?) for his research.

Almost half of all stars formed within the first few billion years after the Big Bang. These stars often reside in dusty galaxies that are invisible to telescopes that observe visible light. There is mounting evidence that compared to present-day galaxies, dusty galaxies are more compact and much more turbulent.

In order to study these galaxies, scientists must look at them at longer wavelengths, between 0.1 and 1.0 millimeters. However, current spectrometers can only observe a small range of wavelengths at once.

With the NWO-XS grant, Rybak will install a new type of superconducting sub-millimetre spectrometer on a telescope in Chile. This new technology is able to observe a much wider range of wavelengths at once, allowing for more detailed observations of distant galaxies. Rybak will lead extensive observations using this new technology, thoroughly testing it under "real-life" conditions.

The research is likely to take our understanding of dusty galaxies in the young universe to new heights. And with it, new insight into the origin of the entire universe.