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Astrophysics Research Centre

School of Mathematics and Physics

Peter Keys

As of April 2017, I am a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow working within the solar group as part of the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen's. I was awarded my Ph.D titled "The Dynamic Properties of Magnetic Bright Points" in July 2013 at Queen's having previously been awarded my Masters in Physics in Queen's in 2009.

My research interests focus on studies of the Sun at optical wavelengths from (primarily) ground-based facilities. In general, I am interested in dynamic phenomena in the lower solar atmosphere, and their role in transferring energy between layers. As such, I have extensive experience with a wide range of solar telescopes and retain a keen interest in the development of new instruments and facilities.

Previous Roles

  1. Joint PDRA between QUB and the Solar Physics and Space Plasma Research Centre (SP2RC) at the University of Sheffield (2013 - 2016)
  2. PDRA at QUB (2016 - 2017)
  3. ROSA instrument scientist (2011 - 2017)

Research Interests

  • Small-scale magnetic elements and their coupling in the solar atmosphere
  • Formation mechanisms in small-scale magnetic elements
  • MHD phenomena observed in various features found on the Sun (e.g., MBPs, pores, sunspots)
  • Flares and associated phenomena
  • Vorticity in MBPs
  • Local seismology techniques
  • Automated feature tracking
  • Instrumentation and telescope development
  • Data reduction techniques and pipeline development
  • Ground-based optical imagers

Project Involvement

Here is a list of some current and previous (inter)national projects1) I have been involved in:

  • The European Solar Telescope: I am part of the EST Communications group. This means I am the local contact for EST outreach activities as well as developing strategy as part of the group to promote EST to the public. I am also the Queen's nominated board member for the PRE-EST project, which deals with defining the governance and legalities associated with such a massive international project, as well as defining the science goals, site selection, increasing awareness of the project, and sourcing funding for advancing the telescope's construction.
  • SOLARNET Access program: as part of the project, ROSA data was offered to European researchers that wouldn't normally have access to data. As such I was tasked with both acquiring the data and processing it for the principal investigator. The data was taken in 4 observing runs from 2013 - 2016, and was very successful. We were the first to take data in service mode (which does not normally happen in the case of solar observatories). This task is essential for new facilities such as DKIST and EST, which are planned to operate in service mode.
  • SOLARNET pipeline development: As part of the SOLARNET project, I was tasked with improving the ROSA reduction pipeline and producing a manual for its use. This was done for all European instruments in an attempt to make pipelines accessible to non-specialists. As part of this project, I was involved in the discussion of the keywords that should be mandatory for FITS headers for SOLARNET compliant data. This project was undertaken with the view of preparing for EST, by developing both the guidelines needed to produce easy to use pipelines and a standard for keywords in FITS headers for any raw/reduced data from future EU funded instruments. There were successful tests within this project of implementing ROSA data within a VSO online tool to give access to ROSA archive data (as well as other instruments).
  • SOLARNET 5 School: Part of the SOLARNET project involved organising summer schools for PhD students and early career postdocs along some specific theme in solar physics. These schools would also have a workshop attached to them so that, as well as lectures, the students could present their results to their peers. At Queen's our theme was Waves and Oscillations in the Solar Atmosphere. I undertook a lot of the organising for this school/workshop and gave a lecture at the school on Ground-based Observatories and Image Reduction Techniques.
  • SPRING network: I have been involved in group discussions and with writing the science case and desired observables for a potential network of synoptic full disk ground-based telescopes, monitoring solar activity in an attempt to predict space weather.
  • UKIERI project: I was involved in this project which was a collaborative project between QUB, the NSO (USA) and the IIA (India). As well as participating in collaborative research projects, I was also tasked with delivering a week-long seminar/tutorial session to PhD students at the IIA in Bangalore, to teach them to process ROSA data and to work out some possible projects that could be completed with existing ROSA data sets. This project was seen as a way of preparing PhD students and postdocs in data acquisition and reduction techniques in preparation for the development of India's NLST telescope.
  • The August 2017 Eclipse project: I was part of a team consisting of researchers from QUB, the National History Museum (London) and the University of Wrocław (Poland) that traveled to Idaho (USA) to observe the Eclipse in August 2017. Two telescopes were assembled at a site in the Sawtooth mountains, which was in the path of totality of the Eclipse. One telescope looked at the corona, while the other telescope provided context images with a continuum and a Halpha core bandpasses. As well as giving us high resolution images of the corona, chromosphere and the photosphere, there was a heavy outreach component of this project given the scale of the eclipse.

Other information

Contact details

Please note that many of these projects are massive collaborative projects involving many research institutes. I am most certainly not the PI of these proejcts, although I am/have been quite actively involved in the projects.
Please note that there is another Peter Keys working at QUB, in the finance section. Please check you have the right one as I am not a qualified accountant and he probably doesn't want to referee that solar physics paper.
users/pkeys/start.txt · Last modified: 2019/01/10 13:44 by pkeys

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