The theme is active in several research areas, specialising in cosmology, the formation of clusters and galaxies, active galaxies, high-energy astrophysical processes and the formation of extrasolar planets. Observational work in the theme uses large ground-based and satellite telescopes from the radio to the X-ray bands, whilst our theoretical work is tied closely to the interpretation of these data.
Simulated collision between planets
We’re studying active galactic nuclei, particularly radio galaxies, using radio, infra-red, optical and X-ray techniques and looking at the environments and dynamics of radio sources, unified models for both high-power and low-power objects, observation and modelling of jets and the X-ray/radio relationship in radio galaxies and quasars.
We’re studying the environment immediately surrounding black holes using space-based X-ray observatories along with observations at other wavelengths. We’re also probing the properties of the black hole itself using X-ray spectroscopy of gas deep in the potential well of the black hole, where the effects of strong gravity are important.
Clusters of Galaxies
We are attempting to measure the most accurate masses possible for a large number of galaxy clusters by combining observations of the hot gas in clusters made with X-ray observatories with measurements of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, measurements of the gravitational lensing effect of clusters and the velocities of the galaxies within clusters.
We are working on developing an automated framework for multi-wavelength data fusion, assessing the impact of active galactic nuclei in galaxy evolution and using machine-learning methods for source classification and photometric redshift estimation.
We are using the Hubble Space Telescope to perform large-scale surveys of exoplanet atmospheres and will be using the James Webb Space Telescope in the coming years to look even deeper into exoplanet atmospheres. These studies will help shed light on our own solar system and will also feed into planet formation modelling.
Galactic Line Emission
Our research on the photo-excited component of the interstellar medium continues through our involvement with the international southern H-alpha survey of the Galactic plane and some other important Galactic and extragalactic regions.
Galaxies and their Evolution
We are studying galaxy populations and their evolution using surveys of nearby galaxies to look for previously undetected low surface brightness and compact galaxies, and observations of more distant clusters and groups to look for evidence of the evolution of their galaxy content.
Microwave Background Radiation
We are involved with experiments using the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect to study the hot gas in clusters of galaxies via the signature it leaves on the spectrum of the cosmic microwave background.
Planet Formation and Collisional Evolution
We are developing a state-of-the-art numerical method that will include the most realistic model of planetestimal evolution to date. Our goal is to develop a complete account of planet formation.