Runaway stars in our Galaxy

Lead Research Organisation: University of Hertfordshire
Department Name: School of Physics, Astronomy and Maths


Runaway stars are hot, young stars found faraway from the Galactic disc. They are formed in the disk as all young stars and then ejected by close encounters with other stars or after a massive companion exploded as supernova. Runaway stars are excellent tools to study the structure of our Galaxy. Knowing their velocity and proper motions they can be traced back to their point of origin in the Galactic disc. Gaia data allows an enormous improvement of accuracy compared to previous investigations. Gaia parallaxes also make it possible to carry out a systematic search for these objects for the first time. Previously runaway stars were only found as by-product of other surveys. Since most runaways are found at high galactic latitude they do not experience the heavy reddening, which makes studies, e.g., of the spiral structure of the galactic disc so difficult. Thus they can be used to trace spiral arms usually hidden due to reddening and confusion.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/R504786/1 30/09/2017 31/01/2022
2184619 Studentship ST/R504786/1 30/09/2018 29/09/2021 Ben Mahatma Law
ST/S505419/1 30/09/2018 29/09/2022
2184619 Studentship ST/S505419/1 30/09/2018 29/09/2021 Ben Mahatma Law
Description Outreach - planetarium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As a member of the outreach team, I took part in several different and repeating outreach events. These events were aimed at schools and the general public.
Open nights at the observatory, I presented several planetarium talks, alone I would interact with 100+ people a night. School planetarium shows reaching, at our observatory or at the school, would reach between 30-120 people.
These planetarium shows mainly focused on the solar system, particularly the sun, planets, and moons, as well as the system dynamics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020