Jun 25, 2017

Characterising high-frequency pulsating A-type stars found with SuperWASP


Observations of hot of variable stars to determine their fundament properties through spectroscopy.

Detailled study of CEMP stars identified in the RAVE survey


We are observing around 120 stars that are among the oldest in our Galaxy. Determining their chemical composition will allow us to understand what happened during the first billion years of the Universe

Symbiotic stars – important tracers of late evolutionary stages


We propose a large spectroscopic monitoring of a sample of Magellanic symbiotic stars composed of cold red giant stars and hot white dwarfs, which challenge the binary star evolution models because they do not predict their existence. Our proposed observations will allow us to measure the masses of the two stars in the binary system. They will also help us to understand the formation and evolution of these theoretically impossible although existing binaries.

Unveiling powerful “hidden” black holes: redshifts and characteristics of WISE-selected obscured quasars


We are searching for powerful, supermassive black holes in galaxies that are hidden behind dense obscuring clouds of gas and dust and so have been mysterious and difficult find in the past. New infrared observations with the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite have allowed us to observe the “heat” from dust heated up by the radiation coming from these powerful black holes, and so identify many thousands of possible hidden supermassive black holes. Observations with SALT will allow us to confirm that these are really black holes, by looking for telltale fluorescent light produced by the black hole lighting up the gas in the their galaxy, and will tell us how far away in the Universe these objects are.

Spectroscopy of candidate high-z galaxy clusters


We are aiming to observe the most massive, distant objects in the Universe. Powerful new space telescopes operating in the infrared have identified many galaxy clusters (huge “cities” of thousands of galaxies), with some residing at such large distances that it has taken light more than 7 billion years (half of the age of the Universe!) to traverse to us. However, the precise distances and characteristics of these clusters are not yet known. We aim to use SALT to determine those distances and so allow us to characterize these huge cities of galaxies and understand how the Universe changed from its early life to today.

Probing the Lyman alpha halos around z~3 radio loud quasars


This proposal is to search for extended Lyman alpha emission around high-z radio bright QSOs.

The Winds and Extraplanar Gas of MHONGOOSE Galaxies


We plan to use SALT’s RSS spectrograph to study winds and outflows that are caused by hot young stars. These winds are important because they affect how much gas galaxies have available to form new stars and the winds deposit gas outside the discs of galaxies. We will observe galaxies from the MHONGOOSE survey which has been allocated 6000 hours of observing time on the MeerKAT radio telescope. The observations will help to achieve the MHONGOOSE science goals of understanding the gas cycle in galaxies.

Long-Slit Kinematics of Galaxies for the RESOLVE Survey


Galaxies are the luminous markers of a vast cosmic web, whose filaments and clusters condense under gravity while spacetime expands in voids between them. Gas and dark matter are the presumed lifeblood of this multi-scale organism, flowing along its filaments and feeding the growth of its galaxy cells. Yet much of the gas is undetected, and its relationship to invisible dark matter is unknown. To meet this challenge, the RESOLVE Survey combines state-of-the-art optical and radio/millimeter spectroscopy with multi-wavelength photometry to construct an unprecedented integrated view of gas, dark matter, and stars, spanning nearly five orders of magnitude in spatial scale. RESOLVE will disentangle dark matter and undetected gas to relate invisible mass to cosmic structure, illuminating mysteries such as the dramatic large-scale variation of the dwarf-galaxy inventory and the surprising abundance of galaxies like our own, with profound implications for galaxy evolution and cosmology.

HRS study of long-period eclipsing binaries: towards the true mass-luminosity relation


Study of long-period eclipsing binaries

Nature of galaxies associated with strong MgII absorbers


This program is for identifying high-z galaxies responsible for Mg II absorption seen in the spectra of distant QSOs.