Welcome to the Keele Astrophysics Group which is part of the
EPSAM Research Institute
and the School of Physical and Geographical Sciences of the Faculty of Natural Sciences.
The Keele Astrophysics group currently consists of 10 academic staff
members, with research interests including star formation and stellar clusters,
late stellar evolution, massive stars and their impact on the early universe,
the interstellar medium, binary stars, interacting binary stars, and the
detection of extra-solar planets.
KEELE ASTRONOMERS PUSH WORLDWIDE EXOPLANET TOTAL OVER 1,000
Keele astronomers have pushed the total number of extra-solar planets known through the efforts of worldwide astronomers to over 1,000, by announcing 12 new planets from the WASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets) survey.
Keele operates the WASP-South survey cameras, scanning the night skies and watching for small dips in the light of a star when a planet passes in front of ("transits") the star. The new announcements include WASP-100 and WASP-101, the hundredth and hundredth-and-first planets found by the WASP team.
Among its 100 planets, WASP has found the largest known planet, the shortest-period hot Jupiter, the first planet found in a retrograde orbit, and planets spiralling into destruction on their host star.
Professor Coel Hellier, who leads the WASP-South teams, said: "The WASP planets will be a mainstay of exoplanets research for decades. Astronomers worldwide are studying our planets."
Artist's impression of an exoplanet above by courtesy of ESO/L. Calçada (http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1016a/)
Keele Astronomers find Solid Buckyballs in Space
Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, a team of astronomers led by Nye Evans
and including Jacco van Loon of the Keele Astrophysics Group has detected
solid buckminsterfullerne (C60) in space for the first time. The
buckminsterfullerne molecules are spherical, like soccer balls, and in solid
form they stack like "oranges in a crate", as shown in the illustration. The
"buckyballs" are found in the environment of a star called XX Ophiuchi,
which is about 6500 light years from Earth.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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