Observations

Jan 18, 2019

The Lithium Abundance of the Large Magellanic Cloud

2018-2-SCI-006

The creation of the first chemical elements, which took place just minutes after the Big Bang, provides an intimate view of the physical laws that governed our Universe during its first moments. At present, the Standard Model of cosmology and particle physics is unable to fully explain the relative abundance of these primordial elements. In particular, there is a significant disagreement between the measured and predicted abundance of lithium. We propose to conduct a novel survey that will provide a new, reliable measure of the lithium abundance of gas clouds in a nearby galaxy.

SALT HRS radial velocity monitoring of post-AGB binary stars

2018-2-MLT-007

We are searching for binary stars in some of the most beautiful stellar remnants in the Galaxy.

Asymmetry is Destiny: Wolf-Rayet Binary Stars as GRB Progenitors

2018-2-MLT-005

This program aims to use the recently-commissioned high-precision spectropolarimetry mode of RSS to probe the prodigious mass-loss from certain massive evolved stars known as Wolf-Rayet stars which are in binary systems. These objects are possible progenitors of Gamma-Ray Bursts, which are the most energetic explosions yet known, and can be seen across the entire known universe.

Spectroscopic investigations of Cepheids and stars belonging to Galactic open clusters and associations

2018-2-MLT-004

Spectroscopic investigations of Cepheids and stars belonging to Galactic open clusters and associations

Spectroscopic observations of central stars of mid-infrared nebulae discovered w ith Spitzer and WISE

2018-1-MLT-008

Spectroscopic observations of central stars of mid-infrared nebulae discovered with Spitzer and WISE

Jan 17, 2019

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

2018-2-SCI-017

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

The Lithium Abundance of the Large Magellanic Cloud

2018-2-SCI-006

The creation of the first chemical elements, which took place just minutes after the Big Bang, provides an intimate view of the physical laws that governed our Universe during its first moments. At present, the Standard Model of cosmology and particle physics is unable to fully explain the relative abundance of these primordial elements. In particular, there is a significant disagreement between the measured and predicted abundance of lithium. We propose to conduct a novel survey that will provide a new, reliable measure of the lithium abundance of gas clouds in a nearby galaxy.

Surface Chemistry of Peculiar Hot Subdwarfs

2018-2-SCI-033

Stars approaching the end of their lives expand and, in many cases, exchange material with close companions. This has a radical effect on their evolution and surface composition, producing a zoo of rare but highly exotic stars. By exploring the propertiesof thes pathological cases, we are endeavouring to understand the ways in which stars exhange matter and evolve towardstheir final fate as white dwarfs or supernovae. The stars in this programme are perfect examples — many of them have completelylost their surface hydrogen, for reasons still to be explained. These observations will tell us about the abundances of otherelements — previously we have discovered huge overabundances of exotic species such as lead and zirconium, and will explore how some of these stars may vary over time.

Characterizing a new population of ultra diffuse galaxies

2018-2-SCI-028

Astronomers have recently idenfied an intriguing new type of galaxy, called an “utra-diffuse galaxy” that is large in size (like our own MIlky Way) but has very few stars, and so may have formed through a different process than galaxies like our own. We are aiming to determine the distances to these new galaxies and understand the nature of the gas within them, to get a better idea of how they formed and what this means for the process of galaxy formation.

2018-2-SCI-004-P1-3 Characterising the host star and protoplanetary disk environment in nearby young star systems

2018-2-SCI-004

The young star β Pictoris is seen orbited by a warped edge-on debris disc of gas and dust, as well as a massive planet. In order to gain insights into the mechanisms of planetary system formation, it is useful to study the properties, behaviour and interaction of exocomets within this and other similar young planetary system.