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 Alexander Howard

Alexander Howard

Research student, School of Physics and Astronomy

I am a post-graduate researcher, whose research focuses on understanding the conditions in one of our closest Star Forming regions: the Gould Belt. Exactly how stars form is a process that still poses many questions, and yet from stars, nearly everything we interact with was created. Understanding how this happens is therefore a vital part of understanding how we came to be.

The Gould Belt is a ring of active star formation in our galaxy, and contains many sites of interest, with the Solar System near the middle of them. These areas are rich in "dust" (a sort of cosmic ash) which make it difficult to see what’s going on with the naked eye. Infra-red telescopes (like Herschel, for instance) can provide a different look at these regions, highlighting exactly where stars are forming, and how the gas that fuels these processes is interacting on a wider scale.

The closeness of the Gould Belt gives us the highest resolution look at these regions, and allow us to understand what might be happening on scales as small as a single star! My PhD will utilise new algorithms such as PPMAP to analyse star formation in super resolution.


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