Support for an observing programme at the University of Hertfordshire

Lead Research Organisation: University of Hertfordshire
Department Name: Science and Technology RI

Abstract

The Centre for Astrophysics Research (CAR) at the University of Hertfordshire has a very wide range of observational programmes. Some examples are: Using a variety of techniques, CAR astronomers study galaxy and structure formation and evolution, over all cosmic epochs. We use massive bursts of star formation to investigate early epochs of galaxy formation and evolution. These are highly obscured at optical and even near-infrared wavelengths, and hence best observed through the reprocessed submillimetre emission from warm dust, using instruments such as SCUBA (SCUBA-2) on the JCMT. Over-dense regions of the early universe can be explored by targeting the fields of known high-redshift active galactic nuclei (AGN) at submillimetre wavelengths. Such AGN are amongst the most massive objects in existence at their epoch and should signpost rare high-density peaks of the dark matter distribution. CAR astronomers play a key role in the international THINGS collaboration. THINGS, short for 'The HI Nearby Galaxy Survey', is a large program at the NRAO Very Large Array, to perform 21-cm HI observations of nearby galaxies. The goal is to investigate key characteristics related to galaxy morphology, star formation and mass distribution across the Hubble sequence of galaxies. On an overall very different size scale, CAR astronomers address the key issues of the formation and evolution of cosmic objects that range over scales from high-mass stars to brown dwarfs (sub-stellar objects with a mass below that necessary to maintain hydrogen-burning), and exoplanets. We study the stellar population of Local Group galaxies, including the Milky Way, to trace age and metallicity gradients as well as their structure using stars in different evolutionary stages. We also study the earliest phases of the chemical evolution of the Milky Way by recording the high-resolution spectra of extremely old stars which preserve the fossil record of the Galaxy's earliest epochs. From this we can learn about the Big Bang and the conditions in the newly forming Galaxy when its first stars were emerging. Low to intermediate mass stars (0.8 to 8 solar masses) end their days as cooling white dwarfs. This is a transition that will be undergone by the majority of stars in the Galaxy, probably including the Sun, and these end phases of a star's life are characterized by huge mass loss, which is the major source of dust and chemically enriched material in the interstellar medium. This is studied using a variety of techniques including imaging polarimetry. Understanding how stars form remains one of the major goals of modern astrophysics research, as it underpins the study of a range of phenomena, such as the formation and evolution of galaxies (including our own), the formation of the first stars in the Universe through to our own Solar System and others like it, and perhaps of life itself. We now largely concentrate on massive stars as these are a powerful force in our Galaxy and others, acting to disrupt giant molecular clouds and trigger new generations of star formation before exploding as supernovae. Once massive stars have formed they are highly visible but their earliest stages are still shrouded in secrecy as their birthplaces are hidden deep within the densest regions of dark molecular clouds and radio/submm observations are needed to probe these obscured regions. We are involved in a wide variety of programmes to detect and characterise extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs, and we are one of just a few groups worldwide to discover nearby extrasolar planets (over 40). We are pioneering a number of new extrasolar planet projects , including transits of low mass stars, with the aim of detecting extrasolar 'Earths' within the habitable zones of their parent stars.

Publications

10 25 50

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Goulding N (2013) J-band variability of M dwarfs in the WFCAM Transit Survey in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Green J (2009) The 6-GHz multibeam maser survey - I. Techniques in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Mackenzie T (2011) A pilot study for the SCUBA-2 'All-Sky' Survey A pilot study for the SCUBA-2 All-Sky Survey in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

 
Title IPHAS DR2 
Description 219-million line catalogue presenting r/i/H-alpha uniformly-calibrated digital photometry of stars in the northern Galactic Plane, to a faint limit of 20th magnitude 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2014 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The catalogue has been ingested by CDS Strasbourg to make it world-accessible. Some users also access data on the IPHAS website. 
URL http://www.iphas.org/
 
Description IPHAS 
Organisation Harvard University
Department Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Principal Investigator institute All observing requests since the survey's 2003 inception written by PI. UH has taken prominent roles in science exploitation and is in charge of major catalogue releases (e.g. DR2 in 2014).
Collaborator Contribution Have contributed to observing effort, formulation of policy and science exploitation. Not all partners listed (see website for complete list).
Impact Publications including a world-accessible database of astronomical photometry - see publications area on iphas website, www.iphas.org.
Start Year 2006
 
Description IPHAS 
Organisation Imperial College London
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Principal Investigator institute All observing requests since the survey's 2003 inception written by PI. UH has taken prominent roles in science exploitation and is in charge of major catalogue releases (e.g. DR2 in 2014).
Collaborator Contribution Have contributed to observing effort, formulation of policy and science exploitation. Not all partners listed (see website for complete list).
Impact Publications including a world-accessible database of astronomical photometry - see publications area on iphas website, www.iphas.org.
Start Year 2006
 
Description IPHAS 
Organisation Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands
Country Spain 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Principal Investigator institute All observing requests since the survey's 2003 inception written by PI. UH has taken prominent roles in science exploitation and is in charge of major catalogue releases (e.g. DR2 in 2014).
Collaborator Contribution Have contributed to observing effort, formulation of policy and science exploitation. Not all partners listed (see website for complete list).
Impact Publications including a world-accessible database of astronomical photometry - see publications area on iphas website, www.iphas.org.
Start Year 2006
 
Description IPHAS 
Organisation Radboud University Nijmegen
Department Department of Astrophysics
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Principal Investigator institute All observing requests since the survey's 2003 inception written by PI. UH has taken prominent roles in science exploitation and is in charge of major catalogue releases (e.g. DR2 in 2014).
Collaborator Contribution Have contributed to observing effort, formulation of policy and science exploitation. Not all partners listed (see website for complete list).
Impact Publications including a world-accessible database of astronomical photometry - see publications area on iphas website, www.iphas.org.
Start Year 2006
 
Description IPHAS 
Organisation University College London
Department Department of Physics & Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Principal Investigator institute All observing requests since the survey's 2003 inception written by PI. UH has taken prominent roles in science exploitation and is in charge of major catalogue releases (e.g. DR2 in 2014).
Collaborator Contribution Have contributed to observing effort, formulation of policy and science exploitation. Not all partners listed (see website for complete list).
Impact Publications including a world-accessible database of astronomical photometry - see publications area on iphas website, www.iphas.org.
Start Year 2006
 
Description IPHAS 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Institute of Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Principal Investigator institute All observing requests since the survey's 2003 inception written by PI. UH has taken prominent roles in science exploitation and is in charge of major catalogue releases (e.g. DR2 in 2014).
Collaborator Contribution Have contributed to observing effort, formulation of policy and science exploitation. Not all partners listed (see website for complete list).
Impact Publications including a world-accessible database of astronomical photometry - see publications area on iphas website, www.iphas.org.
Start Year 2006
 
Description IPHAS 
Organisation University of Graz
Department Institute of Physics
Country Austria 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Principal Investigator institute All observing requests since the survey's 2003 inception written by PI. UH has taken prominent roles in science exploitation and is in charge of major catalogue releases (e.g. DR2 in 2014).
Collaborator Contribution Have contributed to observing effort, formulation of policy and science exploitation. Not all partners listed (see website for complete list).
Impact Publications including a world-accessible database of astronomical photometry - see publications area on iphas website, www.iphas.org.
Start Year 2006
 
Description IPHAS 
Organisation University of Manchester
Department School of Physics and Astronomy Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Principal Investigator institute All observing requests since the survey's 2003 inception written by PI. UH has taken prominent roles in science exploitation and is in charge of major catalogue releases (e.g. DR2 in 2014).
Collaborator Contribution Have contributed to observing effort, formulation of policy and science exploitation. Not all partners listed (see website for complete list).
Impact Publications including a world-accessible database of astronomical photometry - see publications area on iphas website, www.iphas.org.
Start Year 2006
 
Description IPHAS 
Organisation University of Warwick
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Principal Investigator institute All observing requests since the survey's 2003 inception written by PI. UH has taken prominent roles in science exploitation and is in charge of major catalogue releases (e.g. DR2 in 2014).
Collaborator Contribution Have contributed to observing effort, formulation of policy and science exploitation. Not all partners listed (see website for complete list).
Impact Publications including a world-accessible database of astronomical photometry - see publications area on iphas website, www.iphas.org.
Start Year 2006
 
Description JCMT Nearby Galaxies Legacy Survey 
Organisation Leiden University
Department Leiden Observatory
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution participated in drafting the proposal; participated in the observations; participated in drafting the science papers
Collaborator Contribution participated in drafting the proposal; participated in the observations; participated in drafting the science papers
Impact See Wilson et al. MNRAS (2012) 424 (4): 3050-3080. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21453.x and references therein.
 
Description JCMT Nearby Galaxies Legacy Survey 
Organisation McMaster University
Department Department of Physics & Astronomy
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution participated in drafting the proposal; participated in the observations; participated in drafting the science papers
Collaborator Contribution participated in drafting the proposal; participated in the observations; participated in drafting the science papers
Impact See Wilson et al. MNRAS (2012) 424 (4): 3050-3080. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21453.x and references therein.
 
Description JCMT Nearby Galaxies Legacy Survey 
Organisation Open University
Department School of Physical Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution participated in drafting the proposal; participated in the observations; participated in drafting the science papers
Collaborator Contribution participated in drafting the proposal; participated in the observations; participated in drafting the science papers
Impact See Wilson et al. MNRAS (2012) 424 (4): 3050-3080. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21453.x and references therein.