Deconstructing the Galaxy - in search of giant waves

Summary

For the first time, we are able to probe the Milky Way in 6 dimensions - i.e. 3D spatial position, 3D kinematic motion - for millions, even billions of stars.  We can slice the Galaxy in many new ways and explore how it is evolving over cosmic time.  We can do that with data and with supercomputer simulations.

The supervisory team for this project also includes Dr Thorsten Tepper-Garcia and Dr Sanjib Sharma.
A complimentary scholarship for this project is available.  To find out more, refer to The Hunstead Merit Award for Astrophysics.

Supervisor(s)

Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn

Research Location

School of Physics

Program Type

PHD

Synopsis

The ESA Gaia satellite has obtained accurate positional and velocity information on 1.6 billion stars in the Milky Way.  These data are providing amazing information on how the Galaxy works.  In a new discovery, we ind that the Galactic disc has been badly damaged by a passing dwarf galaxy causing the disc to ring like a bell.  The dwarf is driving giant waves across the disc that we can easily see in the Gaia data.  We have produced advanced models of this interaction with a view to understand something new about forced oscillations and the nature of dark matter.  We are one of the most productive groups in the University and typically publish the results of projects with students.  This project will require the student to write some python scripts and to understand some basic and advanced galactic dynamics.

Additional Information

The supervisory team for this project also includes Dr Thorsten Tepper-Garcia and Dr Sanjib Sharma.
A complimentary scholarship for this project is available. To find out more, refer to The Hunstead Merit Award for Astrophysics.

HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden); - Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Keywords

Milky Way, astronomy, Galactic Archaeology, Space Satellite, Galaxy Information, Galaxy Dynamics

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 2441

Other opportunities with Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn