The unsurpassed sensitivity and resolution of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) will make it possible for the first time to probe the continuum emission of normal star forming galaxies out to the edges of the universe. This opens the possibility for routinely using the radio continuum emission from galaxies for cosmological research as it offers an independent probe of the evolution of the star formation density in the universe. In addition it offers the possibility to detect the first star forming objects and massive black holes.
In deep surveys SKA will be able to detect Hi in emission out to redshifts of z approximate to 2.5 and hence be able to trace the conversion of gas into stars over an era where considerable evolution is taking place. Such surveys will be able to uniquely determine the respective importance of merging and accreting gas flows for galaxy formation over this redshift range (i.e. out to when the universe was only one third its present age). It is obvious that only SKA will able to see literally where and how gas is turned into stars.
These and other aspects of SKA imaging of galaxies will be discussed. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.