University of Sussex Astronomy Consolidated Grant 2020-2023

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sussex
Department Name: Sch of Mathematical & Physical Sciences

Abstract

This proposal seeks funds to continue an extensive programme of research into extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology, by addressing some of the most pressing astronomical questions of our time, such as "What are the fundamental constituents of the Universe?", "What is the nature of inflation and dark energy, believed to drive accelerated expansion in the early and late universe", "What processes govern the formation of the largest objects and structure in our universe?, and "How do galaxies form and evolve"? We will do this by combining theoretical work, much of it using high-performance computers, with multi-wavelength observational surveys. We will apply advanced techniques for making numerical predictions, data analysis and modelling, and deploy our skills through a series of international projects.

The research consists of twelve varied but interconnected projects, each involving one or more faculty members and researchers, that can be collected into three broad themes: Early and late universe cosmology; Galaxy simulation and modelling; Galaxy and cluster observations and analysis:

Early and late universe cosmology: a series of projects will address theoretical predictions and observational constraints on inflation, dark energy and large scale structure. Our work encompasses both the development of theoretical frameworks and the analysis of cutting edge observational datasets (including the Simons Observatory, the Dark Energy Survey, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, and the XMM-Newton Cluster Survey).

Galaxy simulation and modelling: we will use Peta-scale computing facilities to carry out detailed studies of the formation and evolution of the first structures, and make statistical predictions that can be used in the exploitation of current and upcoming observational facilities such as James Webb Space Telescope, the Euclid space observatory, LOFAR, ALMA, and the Square Kilometre Array.

Galaxy and cluster observations: we will make use of multi-wavelength observations to answer a variety of questions concerning the formation and evolution of galaxies. We will continue to exploit our involvement in the Dark Energy Survey, the Galaxy and Mass Assembly survey, LOFAR, Meerkat, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, and the XMM-Newton Cluster Survey. In particular we will develop a new set of advanced tools with which to analyse observations from these projects as well as upcoming facilities such as the James Webb Space Telescope.

Planned Impact

This project brings together scientists studying the early universe and galaxy evolution with the goal of (a) understanding the physics of the first seconds and minutes after the Big Bang when the seeds of today's galaxies formed and (b) following how these seeds grew over 13 billion years and, on even larger scales, assembled into galaxy clusters. The impact of our research is mainly academic, but we also have a proven track record of sharing the methods/technical expertise developed for it with industry and scientists from other disciplines, and engaging with the public to raise interest for our activities and inspire young people for STEM careers.

We have prioritised 3 key themes for impact. The most obvious beneficiaries are other academic researchers and we will strive to influence the agenda in our research domains. At Sussex Astronomy Centre we also have a particular passion for engaging the public in this frontier research and inspiring the next generation of STEM researchers. Further impact comes from the development and application of the data intensive skills and techniques we use and since the last consolidated grant we've expending considerable effort in enhancing that impact.

Academic: Our goal is to increase our leadership and influence on the field. We will do this by organising agenda setting meetings and taking/strengthening leadership roles in science projects.

Data Intensive Science: Our research activity equips our PhD students and postdoctoral researchers with the skills in Artificial Intelligence and the Data Economy that the UK has identified as vital e.g. through the UK's Industrial Strategy. Through the Data Intensive Science Centre at University of Sussex we aim to address challenges with significant impact in UK and globally. In the developing world e.g. using Earth Observations and climate models to help forecast drought in Kenya. Locally by using health records and other data to improve patient diagnosis. We will also use our wide engagement with local SMEs, large companies and charities and public sector organisations through our data intensive science centre for doctoral training DISCnet to enhance the uptake of data intensive science, machine-learning and artificial intelligence techniques in the local, regional and national economy and community.

Public Engagement: The members of the Astronomy Centre are passionate about inspiring the general public and creating strong interest in STEM in young people. We organise several Astronomy Master classes for secondary students every year with the assistance of the department's Outreach Officer (Dr Darren Baskill). We have hosted two STFC Public Engagement Fellows. Kathy Romer (2016-2018) and Stephen Wilkins (2018-2020). We have a strong record for developing imaginative public engagements with a number of STFC Public Engagement Awards. Most recently these include support (ST/S005846/1, PI Wilkins) for a new series of "Wonder Festivals" designed to engaged deprived communities across the South East with STEM disciplines, a programme ("Guide Stars", ST/S005838/1, PI Wilkins) aimed at engaging members of the Guiding community with astronomy and space science, and a programme to design innovative public engagement activities for the Webb Telescope (ST/R006040/1, PI Baskill). Wilkins also led a stand at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition 2018.

Publications

10 25 50

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Abbott T. M. C. (2021) The Dark Energy Survey Data Release 2 in arXiv e-prints

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Aguena M. (2021) The WaZP galaxy cluster sample of the Dark Energy Survey Year 1 in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Ahn K (2020) Modelling the stochasticity of high-redshift halo bias in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Dixon K (2020) Predictions for measuring the 21-cm multifrequency angular power spectrum using SKA-Low in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Furnell K (2021) The growth of intracluster light in XCS-HSC galaxy clusters from 0.1 < z < 0.5 in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

 
Title DES DR2 
Description DES DR2 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2021 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact lots of papers 
 
Description Dark Energy Survey 
Organisation Fermilab - Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I lead the Cluster Working Group (and make many other contributions eg EPO, survey strategy, membership...).
Collaborator Contribution The partners are responsible for other science areas, for building, running and maintaining the camera, for data processing. I have only listed the institutes where I have close collaborators. There are many other institutes that contribute to DES.
Impact Papers, public outreach, a facility instrument, PhD theses
 
Description Dark Energy Survey 
Organisation Stanford University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Cluster Working Group (and make many other contributions eg EPO, survey strategy, membership...).
Collaborator Contribution The partners are responsible for other science areas, for building, running and maintaining the camera, for data processing. I have only listed the institutes where I have close collaborators. There are many other institutes that contribute to DES.
Impact Papers, public outreach, a facility instrument, PhD theses
 
Description Dark Energy Survey 
Organisation University of California, Santa Cruz
Department Physics Department
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Cluster Working Group (and make many other contributions eg EPO, survey strategy, membership...).
Collaborator Contribution The partners are responsible for other science areas, for building, running and maintaining the camera, for data processing. I have only listed the institutes where I have close collaborators. There are many other institutes that contribute to DES.
Impact Papers, public outreach, a facility instrument, PhD theses
 
Description Dark Energy Survey 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Cluster Working Group (and make many other contributions eg EPO, survey strategy, membership...).
Collaborator Contribution The partners are responsible for other science areas, for building, running and maintaining the camera, for data processing. I have only listed the institutes where I have close collaborators. There are many other institutes that contribute to DES.
Impact Papers, public outreach, a facility instrument, PhD theses
 
Description Dark Energy Survey 
Organisation University of Michigan
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Cluster Working Group (and make many other contributions eg EPO, survey strategy, membership...).
Collaborator Contribution The partners are responsible for other science areas, for building, running and maintaining the camera, for data processing. I have only listed the institutes where I have close collaborators. There are many other institutes that contribute to DES.
Impact Papers, public outreach, a facility instrument, PhD theses
 
Description Dark Energy Survey 
Organisation University of Portsmouth
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Cluster Working Group (and make many other contributions eg EPO, survey strategy, membership...).
Collaborator Contribution The partners are responsible for other science areas, for building, running and maintaining the camera, for data processing. I have only listed the institutes where I have close collaborators. There are many other institutes that contribute to DES.
Impact Papers, public outreach, a facility instrument, PhD theses
 
Description LOFAR Epoch of Reionization Key Science Project (2015-ongoing) 
Organisation LOFAR
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am core member of the Key Science Project with responsibilities in simulation and modelling support.
Collaborator Contribution The project has been awarded over 1600 hours of observation with the LOFAR telescope since it began operations (some of these are completed, some are ongoing). A number of papers have been published on the results, including the first upper limits on the redshifted 21-cm power spectra from reionization.
Impact http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2017ApJ...838...65P and many other papers
 
Description LOFAR Epoch of Reionization Key Science Project (2015-ongoing) 
Organisation University of Groningen
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am core member of the Key Science Project with responsibilities in simulation and modelling support.
Collaborator Contribution The project has been awarded over 1600 hours of observation with the LOFAR telescope since it began operations (some of these are completed, some are ongoing). A number of papers have been published on the results, including the first upper limits on the redshifted 21-cm power spectra from reionization.
Impact http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2017ApJ...838...65P and many other papers
 
Description Virgo Supercomputing Consortium 
Organisation Durham University
Department Astronomy & Astrophysics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Founding member; steering group member; code development; project lead.
Collaborator Contribution Provision of supercomputer facilities; joint steering rout membership; code development; multiple project leadership.
Impact Many of the outputs listed separately in this report (I am not going to list them all again here). They will each have an appropriate acknowledgement.
 
Description Virgo Supercomputing Consortium 
Organisation Leiden University
Department Leiden Institute of Physics
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Founding member; steering group member; code development; project lead.
Collaborator Contribution Provision of supercomputer facilities; joint steering rout membership; code development; multiple project leadership.
Impact Many of the outputs listed separately in this report (I am not going to list them all again here). They will each have an appropriate acknowledgement.
 
Description Virgo Supercomputing Consortium 
Organisation Max Planck Society
Department Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Founding member; steering group member; code development; project lead.
Collaborator Contribution Provision of supercomputer facilities; joint steering rout membership; code development; multiple project leadership.
Impact Many of the outputs listed separately in this report (I am not going to list them all again here). They will each have an appropriate acknowledgement.
 
Description Virgo Supercomputing Consortium 
Organisation University of Manchester
Department Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Founding member; steering group member; code development; project lead.
Collaborator Contribution Provision of supercomputer facilities; joint steering rout membership; code development; multiple project leadership.
Impact Many of the outputs listed separately in this report (I am not going to list them all again here). They will each have an appropriate acknowledgement.
 
Description Virgo Supercomputing Consortium 
Organisation University of Nottingham
Department School of Physics and Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Founding member; steering group member; code development; project lead.
Collaborator Contribution Provision of supercomputer facilities; joint steering rout membership; code development; multiple project leadership.
Impact Many of the outputs listed separately in this report (I am not going to list them all again here). They will each have an appropriate acknowledgement.
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation Fermilab - Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Department FNAL - Other
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation Lancaster University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation Liverpool John Moores University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU Munich)
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation University of California, Santa Cruz
Department Physics Department
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Department Edinburgh Clinical Trials Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation University of KwaZulu-Natal
Department Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation University of Michigan
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation University of Porto
Country Portugal 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation University of Portsmouth
Department Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation Uppsala University
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description Sussex Universe 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Sussex Universe talk (pre recorded) over Zoom with in person Q&A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXPb5bfrHLk&t=9s