Last updated 03/09/2006
2 Sep 2006 A minor update just to remove some of the scripts I had been linking to that suddenly had started popping up nasty advertising on the page. Sorry about that everyone. Also, just to satisfy Ian: I still only have one head, and it still has hair on it.
24 Oct 2005 By popular (?) demand here's a quick update on what I'm doing now: I'm currently working for a city startup (how long can one justify calling it a startup?) called Columba Systems. I'm working with Chris and the office is just accross the road from Tammay and Richard.
Some time ago now, I did a Ph.D. with the Hot-Star Group at University College London. My main research interest is in the field of photospheric abundances in O stars, but my work to date has also included a study of rotational velocities of O and B stars. A CD version of my thesis is available upon request.
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RAS Newsfeed
Galaxy encounter fires up quasar
Using two of the world’s largest telescopes, an international team of astronomers have found evidence of a collision between galaxies driving intense activity in a highly luminous quasar. The scientists, led by Montserrat Villar Martin of the Instituto de Astrofisica de AndalucĂ­a-CSIC in Spain, used the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile and the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) on La Palma in the Canary Islands, to study activity from the quasar SDSS J0123+00. They publish their work in a paper...
Scientists get a look at the birth of the Milky Way
For the first time, a team of astronomers has succeeded in investigating the earliest phases of the evolutionary history of our home Galaxy, the Milky Way. The scientists, from the Argelander Institute for Astronomy at Bonn University and the Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy in Bonn, deduce that the early Galaxy went from smooth to clumpy in just a few hundred million years. The team publish their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Super-complex organic molecules found in interstellar space
A team of scientists from the Instituto AstrofĂ­sica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of Texas has succeeded in identifying one of the most complex organic molecules yet found in the material between the stars, the so-called interstellar medium. The discovery of anthracene could help resolve a decades-old astrophysical mystery concerning the production of organic molecules in space. The researchers report their findings in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Durham astronomers' doubts about the 'dark side'
New research by astronomers in the Physics Department at Durham University suggests that the conventional wisdom about the content of the Universe may be wrong. Graduate student Utane Sawangwit and Professor Tom Shanks looked at observations from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) satellite to study the remnant heat from the Big Bang. The two scientists find evidence that the errors in its data may be much larger than previously thought, which in turn makes the standard model of the...
Space and astronomy digest: June 2010
The June digest of forthcoming space and astronomy events, from the RAS. This month sees the launch of a solar observatory, the climax of a seven-year mission to collect samples from an asteroid and a conjunction of Venus with the Beehive star cluster. Image: Artist's illustration of PICARD (Credit: (c)2006 CNES)
Spiral, barred, elliptical and irregular: computers automatically classify galaxy shapes
Scientists at University College London (UCL) and the University of Cambridge have developed machine-learning codes modelled on the human brain that can be used to classify galaxies accurately and efficiently. Remarkably, the new method is so reliable that it agrees with human classifications more than 90% of the time. The research will appear in a paper in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
New Council elected
At the AGM on 14 May the new Council for 2010-2011 was elected
Helium pair have regular violent flare ups
A team of astronomers led by Dr Gavin Ramsay of Armagh Observatory have spotted violent eruptions from an interacting pair of stars that orbit around each other every 25 minutes. Unusually, these outbursts take place at regular and predictable intervals, erupting every two months. The new observations were made using the fully robotic Liverpool Telescope sited in the Canary Islands and the orbiting Swift observatory. The results will appear in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
RAS Council
The DRAFT minutes of the Council meeting held on 14 May 2010 are available DRAFT MINUTES OF MAY 2010 MEETING.pdf (images/stories/ras_pdfs/council/MINUTES%20OF%20MAY%202010%20MEETING.pdf)
Professor Roger Davies is new RAS President
On 14 May 2010, Roger Davies, Philip Wetton Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford, will become President of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). Professor Davies will begin his term of office at the 190th Annual General Meeting of the RAS and will serve until May 2012.
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