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In Search of Runaway Stars

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Saturday, February 15, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Most stars in our galaxy move in more or less orderly orbits, but in recent decades astronomers have identified some stars that are moving considerably faster than expected; these are runaway stars. These stars are believed to have been ejected from dense star clusters by energetic processes such as the explosion of the star’s binary companion in a supernova, or the interaction of close binary systems. Both of these processes can propel stars out of clusters at immense speeds, leaving their parental cluster far behind. With state-of-the-art data from the Gaia satellite, astronomers can detect these runaway stars and identify the clusters they have been ejected from. This can provide information on the production processes that produce such stars as well as the dynamical conditions within such clusters.

This project will exploit Gaia data and complementary spectroscopy to study such stars and the star clusters they have been ejected from.

For informal enquiries related to this project contact Dr Nick Wright by email:

Please quote FNS GS 2019-24 on your application.

Keele University values diversity, and is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity. In support of these commitments, Keele University particularly welcomes applications from women and from individuals of black and ethnic minority backgrounds for this post. The School of Chemical and Physical Sciences and Keele University have both been awarded Athena Swan awards and Keele University is a member of the Disability Confident scheme. More information is available on these web pages:

Funding Notes

Funding support is provided as follows; 100% UK/EU tuition fees for 3 years from Academic year 2020/2021. Stipend support for 3 years at UKRI rates. Stipend rate for 2020/21 not confirmed (2019/20 stipend was £15,009 per annum).
Jointly supported by STFC and the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Keele University.

UK/EU nationals are eligible for full funding (tuition fees and stipend at Research Council rate). International students (not resident in the UK) may qualify for a fees-only award.

Related Subjects

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