PATT-linked grant for the Warwick Astronomy and Astrophysics Group

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: Physics


At the end of their lives most stars end up as white dwarfs, neutron stars or black-holes, all of which are tiny by astronomical standards but hugely dense. When such a remnant is close enough to another star in a binary system, it may have the chance to light up again by stripping material off the other star. As this matter spirals towards the compact remant it is heated allowing us to study the properties of the objects and their strong gravitational fields. There are millions of such objects in our Galaxy alone. New surveys are finding more of them all the time. To study them we need to use large telescopes around the world. This grant a request for funds to support this observing.


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Description A major discovery during this grant was the existence of close pairs of stars in which one star cannibalises its companion. For the first time we confirmed a long standing prediction of models that there would a build-up of systems at a period of 80 minutes.
Exploitation Route Further work has added to the work established in this grant.
Sectors Other

Description The funds supported field trips to collect astronomical data on high-speed variability in stars within our Galaxy. These formed the basis of research papers connected to the grant.
First Year Of Impact 2006
Sector Other
Impact Types Cultural