My research is focused on two main fields: galaxy formation and evolution (by means of the study of their structure, dynamics and kinematics) and structural properties of our own Milky Way galaxy. In order to study the structure of galaxies I apply the common technique of 2D/3D fitting of galaxy images, partly implemented through my Python wrapper, DECA (DEComposition Analysis) based on the famous GALFIT code (Peng et al. 2002, 2010). DECA, devoted to investigating images of regular galaxies in an automated mode, is presented in Mosenkov (2014). One of the most important applications of DECA is the structural analysis of edge-on galaxies including bulge/disc decomposition. Currently, I am working on a new and updated version of the DECA package, designed to perform multi-component decomposition of galaxies in automatic-manual mode, with a new interactive interface. Furthermore, I have designed Python scripts to perform initial preparation of galaxy images as well as detailed analysis of their structure, including warps, truncations, breaks of stellar disc profile, dust attenuation, boxy/peanut shape structure etc. Although my main interests are galaxies viewed edge-on (which provide unique possibility to study vertical extent of stellar and dust components), the DECA package can be applied to other regular galaxies. At the moment, I am participating in a project where a sample of grand-design spiral galaxies was selected, and a detailed photometric decomposition including spiral arms fitting was performed. We may conclude that taking into account the spiral structure of galaxies is very important for retrieving correct parameters of the bulge and the disc.
The cataloguing of extra-galactic objects is one of my main interests. Recently, we selected the largest sample of ~6000 true edge-on galaxies from SDSS (Bizyaev et al. 2014). This catalogue, called EGIS, is intended to be used for studying scaling relations in the stellar discs and bulges and for estimating parameters of the thick discs in different types of galaxies via image stacking.
I participated in a work where a sample of the so-called polar-bulge galaxies was studied (Reshetnikov et al. 2015). We selected a sample of nine edge-on spiral galaxies with bulges the major axes of which show a high inclination to the disc plane (a classical example is UGC 10043). Notwithstanding the similarity of their morphology with polar-ring galaxies, bulges in these galaxies are of sufficiently smaller sizes and luminosities (normal bulges) than central objects in polar-ring galaxies. In addition, discs of polar-bulge galaxies are typical for late-type spirals, often showing large-scale warps. We will study this new class of objects in detail in the near future.
I also study another rare type of objects, the very thin galaxies, which have been selected from our EGIS catalogue. These galaxies are found to be similar to low surface brightness disc galaxies. The formation and evolution of these objects is actively being discussed, and further observations and numerical simulations are needed to shed light on their origin. So far, we have collected spectral observations for more than 20 very thin galaxies at the Apache Point Observatory. Photometric and kinematical analysis of these galaxies will help us restore their 3D structure and estimate masses of their components, including properties of the dark halo which is expected to be very massive in this class of objects.
As a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Ghent, I am working on the dust energy balance study of seven edge-on galaxies for which infrared and sub-millimeter Herschel observations are available (HEROES galaxies, see Verstappen et al. 2013, Mosenkov et al. 2016).
Edge-on galaxies are unique in the sense that dust can be clearly seen in both absorption (in ultraviolet and optical images) and in emission (at far-IR and submm wavelengths), which allows for direct investigation of the spatial distribution and energy budget of the dust component. However, an inconsistency of applied dust energy balance methods is found in many galaxies: three times more dust is seen in emission than in extinction. My main goal is to perform olygochromatic fitting in optical and nearIR bands and panchromatic (multi-wavelength) simulations of these galaxies, using FitSKIRT (De Geyter et al. 2013, 2014) and SKIRT (Camps & Baes 2015) codes respectively. FitSKIRT is an olygochromatic radiative transfer fitting code based on SKIRT which represents a state-of-the-art 3D Monte Carlo radiative transfer code. The output will be the parameters of the stellar components and dust content of these galaxies. This is the first attempt to extract dust disc properties based on such a large amount of available imaging data.
My last main topics include the dependence of the disc thickness on the galaxy morphological type (Mosenkov, Sotnikova & Reshetnikov 2010; Mosenkov et al. 2015), disc warps (Reshetnikov et al., 2016), disc truncations, disc flaring (Mosenkov et al., in prep), vertical structure of the bulge/bar (Savchenko et al., in prep.), study of thick and thin discs (Mosenkov et al. 2015) and galaxy scaling relations (Mosenkov, Sotnikova & Reshetnikov 2014). Moreover, I am working on a new 3D extinction map of our Galaxy, built in Gontcharov (2013) where he studied spatial variations of the extinction law in the galactic disc.
In Bobylev et al. (2014) we studied the Milky Way bar properties, where we implemented a new method for selecting red clump and red giant branch stars in the Galactic bar based on 2MASS infrared photometry in combination with stellar proper motions. The study of the bulge/bar structure will be continued when new observations from the GAIA observatory become available.