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The GALEX Extended Mission: Surveying UV Tracers of the Hidden Side of Galaxy Evolution

Abstract

The Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) continues its surveys of the ultraviolet sky. GALEX surveys have supported the following galaxy evolution investigations: calibrating UV as a star formation rate tracer, using wide and deep surveys to measure star formation history, studying the evolution of dust extinction and metallicity, selecting and analyzing galaxies in transitory states, finding local analogs to Lyman Break Galaxies, probing and time-dating star formation in a wide variety of physical regimes. Our continuing mission is focussed on relating star formation history and galaxy evolution paths to the properties of dark matter halos and their assembly history, and on beginning to relate the evolution of galaxies to that of black holes and the intergalactic medium. GALEX has proven that the UV is an ideal band to find and map star formation in low mass, low density objects, and potentially in primordial gas. With future UV missions it may be possible to map emission from the intergalactic and circum-galactic medium, and make a definitive connection between galaxy evolution and the cooling, accretion, heating, and enrichment of gas in the cosmic web

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