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Astrophysics Research Centre

School of Mathematics and Physics

2020 Projects

Quantifying the Volume of Type IIn Supernovae Within the Local Universe

The current generation of wide-field imaging surveys such as ATLAS are yielding observational data of unprecedented quantity and quality. We process terabytes of data for the ATLAS survey daily and apply machine learning algorithms to hunt for new transients such as supernovae and the newly founded kilonovae. The goals of the summer project are flexible, and the student will receive guidance throughout. However the foremost will involve analysing, interpreting and modelling the light curves of known and well-sampled type IIn supernovae from the ATLAS survey in an attempt to calculate a local volumetric rate, differentiate their heterogeneous nature and determine if there exists a relation between the characteristics of the supernovae class and their host galaxies. The student will also have the opportunity to work with an active supernovae research team and aid in the discovery of new transients. The summer project requires an undergraduate programmer who exhibits competent coding ability in python and is keen to experience the world of observational astronomy and supernovae research. Suitable for undergrads in physics, mathematics and computer science. more details available here.

Supervisor: Michael Fulton (contact: m.fulton07@qub.ac.uk)

Solar and Stellar Nanoflares - Uncovering the Hidden Science of Low Energy Flares

Nanoflares are low energy but incredibly frequent small-scale flare events in stars, and are a potential answer to the long standing mystery of coronal heating - How can stellar coronae be orders of magnitude hotter than their surface?. However they’re too faint to observe directly. Recent advances at QUB in nanoflare simulation techniques have allowed us to examine a range of possible nanoflaring scenarios across the Sun and other stellar sources, to shed light on the physical conditions of these mysterious and potentially very significant flare events. . We are seeking a summer student to work on modernisation of nanoflare simulation code, alongside scientific interpretation of the outputs produced. An ideal student is proficient with C and/or Python. Applications open to computer science backgrounds as well as Physics. More details can be found here

Supervisors: Christopher Dillon & David Jess (Contact: cdillon06@qub.ac.uk)

Planetary Potpourri

The student will split their time evenly between two mini-projects. Some previous experience with computer programming is a plus. A familiarity with astronomy or planetary science is helpful, but not required.

Mini-Project 1: The Planet Four website enlists the public to measure wind-blow deposits on Mars. The student will develop a pipeline to divide new images from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter into subframes and upload them to the Planet Four website in order to study the seasonal winds on Mars. If there is time, the student will also update our data analysis pipelines for the new Planet Four 2.0 data format.

Mini-Project 2: The student will perform data reduction of asteroid photometry, measuring the brightness of asteroids in ground-based telescope data. The work is part of an effort to understand the disruption mechanism of asteroids approaching the Sun.

Supervisors: Dr. Meg Schwamb and Dr. Grigori Fedorets (contact: m.schwamb@qub.ac.uk)

Modelling Active Galactic Nuclei / X-Ray Binary Accretion Disk Winds with Iron K-alpha Macro Atoms

This theoretical project will involve using atomic physics to study the effects of simulated Iron K-alpha emission lines from accretion disk winds. It will involve running and modifying Monte Carlo Radiative Transfer models of Active Galactic Nuclei / X-ray binary systems. Previous computational experience is required in C or python. More details can be found here

Supervisor: Mandy Hewitt, Stuart Sim (contact: hhewitt01@qub.ac.uk)

public/summer_studentships2020/projects.txt · Last modified: 2020/02/12 12:43 by Ernst de Mooij

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