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Dr Andrew Rigby

Dr Andrew Rigby

Research Associate
Astronomy Group
Cardiff Hub for Astrophysics Research and Technology

+44 (0)29 2087 0115
N/3.25, Queen's Buildings - North Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA


I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the School of Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University. In my research, I focus upon the formation of stars out of clouds of gas and dust, mostly in our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

My background in research has been mostly centred on surveys of the Galactic plane, carried out at the 15-m James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii and the IRAM 30-m telescope in southern Spain, which are premier facilities for submillimetre and millimetre observations. The surveys carried out at these facilities have also been crucial in identifying samples of star-forming regions for me and my colleagues to study in greater detail with the latest generation of interferometer facilities such as ALMA and NOEMA.

For more details, please see the Research tab, or visit my personal website.


Career Overview

  • 2016 - present: Postdoctoral Research Associate, School of Physics and Astoronomy, Cardiff University


  • 2012 - 2016: PhD in Astrophysics, Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University
  • 2008 - 2012: MPhys in Astrophysics: University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University (Joint Degree programme)











My research interests are primarily focused on the processes which convert clouds of cold molecular gas and dust into stars. In my current role as a postdoctral researcher here at Cardiff, I am currently working on:

  • The deepester ever wide-area 1mm and 2mm observations of the Galactic plane in the GASTON (Galactic Star Formation with NIKA2), with which we are searching for evidence of the formation mechanism for high-mass stars, which may be fundamentally different from that of low-mass stars. GASTON uses the new NIKA2 camera on the IRAM 30-m telescope in southern Spain.
  • Inteferometric observations of dense clumps of gas and dust with NOEMA at 3mm, and ALMA at 1mm. I am leading an observational programme at each facility with the goal of characterising the kinematics and fragmentation properties of the potentially star-forming sources as function of evolution and morphology, to try to understand the conditions that are required to form stars and star clusters.
  • The CHIMPS and CHIMPS2 projects: a large-programme being carried out at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii. These projects combine as a large-area survey of the emission of carbon monoxide within the Milky Way, giving a high-resolution view of the distribution of molecular clouds across our own Galaxy. The CHIMPS data are particularly good for studying the structure of the Galaxy, and its connection to the modes of star formation that it contains.