Keele Astrophysics Group

Welcome to the Keele Astrophysics Group which is part of the School of Physical and Geographical Sciences and the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

The Keele Astrophysics group currently consists of 11 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.

A rare sight: Mercury transits the Sun

Mercuty Transit

On Monday 9th of May, tiny planet Mercury will pass in front of the Sun. Starting just after noon, and ending at 7:40pm, Keele Observatory will be open to the public to view the event through a solar telescope. This is a free event and there is no need to book.

Stardome project wins national widening participation and outreach award

THE Awards

The Astrophysics group's "Stardome", a portable planetarium for schools, developed by Prof Rob Jeffries using funding from the STFC and Keele's alumni fund, won the Times Higher Education Supplement Widening Participation and Outreach initiative of the year award.

The 6-m diameter inflatable planetarium is taken to around 35 local schools and 4000 school pupils per year by Prof Jeffries and a team of "Keele student ambassadors". The project is administered by Keele's widening participation team. Pupils learn about the cosmos, stellar evolution, the search for alien life and Keele's role in discovering exoplanetary systems around other stars.

http://www.keele.ac.uk/pressreleases/2015/stardomestory.html
http://www.keele.ac.uk/stardome/

Too big for its boots: black hole is 30 times expected size

The central supermassive black hole of a recently discovered galaxy is far larger than should be possible, according to current theories of galactic evolution. New work, carried out by astronomers at Keele University and the University of Central Lancashire, shows that the black hole is much more massive than it should be, compared to the mass of the galaxy around it.

See this press release http://www.ras.org.uk/news-and-press/2718-too-big-for-its-boots-black-hole-is-30-times-expected-size

Work-experience schoolboy discovers new planet

A 15-yr-old schoolboy has discovered a new planet orbiting a star 1000 light years away in our galaxy. Tom Wagg was doing work-experience at Keele when he spotted the planet by finding a tiny dip in the light of a star as a planet passed in front of it - a story that has been headline news in papers and on radio and tv nationally and around the globe.

For further information see our press release.

Check out this movie of WASP-142b created by Sophie Barlow (Sir Thomas Boughey co-operative School) during her Work Experience with the Astrophysics Group