Minimum 2:1 degree in physics or a related subject (or equivalent)
Months of entry
This observationally focused topic examines the formation of massive stars in our galaxy. The formation of massive young stars is often triggered by ionised gas regions that expand into their surrounding gas and molecular clouds, ‘triggering’ a next generation of stars. Alternatively, in a less violent way following the collapse of gas and small solid particles of dust, the material in the galaxy that is available to form stars condenses into filaments that fragment and collapse under their self-gravity to form low mass stars. Using powerful telescopes on Earth and in space, observational research in this area is aimed at measuring the structure, energy balance and chemistry in the diffuse/dense interface, measuring the distributions of the material that stars are born into, and measuring the detailed microphysics of how they self-assemble to form the next generation(s) of stars and planetary systems. These observations will be made using the world’s leading far-infrared and submillimetre wavelength telescopes, such as the European Space Agency’s Herschel and Planck space telescopes, the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre Array) in Chile, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii, and the pan-European LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) telescopes.
- Binarity among massive stars
- The birth of high mass stars
- The astrophysics of the Centre of the Galaxy
- Low mass star formation, and the role of interstellar filaments
- Unveiling the dust-gas synergy in the interstellar medium
- The effect of young stars on the matter in their environment: cold and warm dense structures in the interstellar medium
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