Observations

Dec 25, 2014

Magellanic Cloud Dwarf Novae

2014-2-SCI-074

RSS Spectroscopy of Magellanic Young Stellar Objects

2014-2-SCI-041

We aim to probe the environments of 4 star forming regions in the Magellanic Clouds using the Robert Stobie Spectrographon SALT. This will allow us to compare how star forming regions differ in areas with low levels of dust and strong tidal forcescompared to those in our own galaxy.

Spectroscopic Follow-up of Type Ia Supernovae Discovered by the Dark Energy Survey

2014-2-SCI-070

A category of exploding stars known as type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) are key to further understanding the nature of “dark energy”, an unknown force which dominates the content of the Universe and is responsible for the observed accelerated expansion of the Universe. The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is an international experiment specifically aimed at measuring the expansion history of the universe in an effort to pin down the physical properties of dark energy. The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), located in Sutherland is ideally suited to enable astronomers around the world, particularly in South Africa and on the African continent, to observe these astrophysical “standard candles” and shed light on the enigmatic properties of dark energy. Recently, SALT has successfully observed and spectroscopically confirmed it’s first SNe Ia from DES and in this proposal we aim to significantly increase the number of SNe Ia observed by SALT. These measurements will allow us to study the properties of these astrophysical phenomena, and better understand the nature of dark energy.

Dec 24, 2014

Study of the properties of thin and thick disks of galaxy IC2531

2014-2-SCI-047

Dec 23, 2014

BVIT recommissioning observations of pulsars

2014-2-COM-001

With the BVIT photon counting camera on SALT, we are searching for optical pulsations from two pulsars, namely Vela and PSR B0540-69.

Superwinds in luminous starburst galaxies

2014-2-SCI-040

Galaxies originally were considered to be isolated “islands” evolving in an otherwise empty universe. We now realize the opposite is true; the evolution of galaxies is strongly influenced by flows of gas into and out from the surroundings, as well as by collisions with neighboring systems. This project explores these aspects of galaxy ecology through a study of gas flows in galaxy pairs that are merging, a process that fuels violent star formation. SALT observations will show if the intensity of gas outflows in mergers can eject the gas supplies fueling star formation, and thus represent an end point to the star forming lives of galaxies.

Spectroscopic Follow-up of Type Ia Supernovae Discovered by the Dark Energy Survey

2014-2-SCI-070

A category of exploding stars known as type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) are key to further understanding the nature of “dark energy”, an unknown force which dominates the content of the Universe and is responsible for the observed accelerated expansion of the Universe. The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is an international experiment specifically aimed at measuring the expansion history of the universe in an effort to pin down the physical properties of dark energy. The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), located in Sutherland is ideally suited to enable astronomers around the world, particularly in South Africa and on the African continent, to observe these astrophysical “standard candles” and shed light on the enigmatic properties of dark energy. Recently, SALT has successfully observed and spectroscopically confirmed it’s first SNe Ia from DES and in this proposal we aim to significantly increase the number of SNe Ia observed by SALT. These measurements will allow us to study the properties of these astrophysical phenomena, and better understand the nature of dark energy.

Dec 22, 2014

HD60435: Time resolved high resolution spectroscopy of a roAp star

2014-2-SCI-068

Waves inside some stars make their light to change periodically. These changes are called pulsations. By breaking down this variable light into colours, thereby forming a spectrum of a star we can learn many important aspects of a star. Our project studies the spectra of stars with surface temperature of between 6000 and 10000 degrees in order to study how the different chemical elements of these stars are distributed in different layers of the surface of a star. This will ultimately allow us to learn in detail how the magnetic field in these stars affect their structures.

High Resolution spectroscopy of FUOrs like outburst objects.

2014-2-SCI-005

Evolved binaries in the Magellanic Clouds – ideal tracers of binary interaction physics

2014-2-SCI-024

Stellar Evolution is an important building block in the framework of the Universe. For single stars, like our Sun, the late-stages of evolution involves a rapid transition from the Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) phase through the transient post-AGB phase towards the Planetary Nebula Phase (PNe), before the stellar remnant cools down as a White Dwarf (WD). However, more than half of the stars are born as binaries. The evolution of a star can be significantly affected if the star is in a binary system and the outcome is not yet fully understood. Here, we propose to observe and study evolved binary objects that will help understand binary interaction processes which are essential to constrain stellar evolution.