Research Projects

Each summer student will conduct research under the guidance of two or more ESO astronomers, on a project in the area of expertise of the advisors. The project may involve any aspect of astronomy, including original astronomy research, instrumentation, or software development.

Six research projects will be offered for the programme in 2020; applicants should identify two projects on their application form using the project identifiers A-F given in the left column. Brief abstracts are presented here, more information about the projects and the supervisors can be found by following the learn more links below. The hashtags summarise some keys points and skills. 

If you have further questions or would like to learn more about the projects, please email the project advisors directly (you can find the emails by clicking through to the project descriptions). They would be very happy to hear from you!


Probing the atmospheres of outer worlds: transmission spectroscopy of exoplanets

Paulo Miles-Páez & Henri Boffin

Join us on a quest to find atoms and molecules in the atmospheres of hot Jupiters, and thereby help us understand how such massive planets ended up so close to their host star!

#exoplanets #hotJupiter #atmosphere #spectroscopy #VLT #machinelearning

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Searching for intermediate mass black holes

Marianne Heida & George Lansbury

We know of many stellar mass (5-100 Msun) and supermassive (>100,000 Msun) black holes, but none in between. A class of very bright X-ray sources may be the key to finding these elusive intermediate mass black holes.

#IMBHs #AGN #spectroscopy #redshifts #Xrays #multiwavelength #Haletelescope

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Not going out quietly: variability in dying stars

Nicola Gentile Fusillo, Anna Pala & Tommaso Marchetti

White dwarfs represent the final stage in the evolution of most stars in the Galaxy. Join us in discovering and deciphering the mysterious variability these stars can show at the end of their lifetime.

#Lightcurves #Gaia #Python #Topcat #photometry #whitedwarf #exoplanet

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Distant galaxies in high definition - How starbursts and black holes impact the gas in galaxies

Gabriela Calistro Rivera, Gergo Popping & Paola Andreani

Build the largest library of impressive images taken with the ALMA telescope at high-resolution. Discover how the shapes of galaxies are affected by extreme events such as starbursts and black holes.

#galaxies #starbursts #black-holes #gas #ALMA #python # bigdata #spectroscopy

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Comparing ground and satellite-based climate data for atmospheric studies of astronomical relevance

Tony Mroczkowski & Carlos de Breuck 

Atmospheric transmission is one of the most important factors in characterizing a site for millimeter and submillimeter astronomy.  We propose a project to study recent, high-resolution satellite data on the climate and compare the data to that from weather stations from the APEX, ALMA, and possibly Paranal sites.

#python #ALMA #APEX #AtLAST #atmosphericscience #climatechange #bigdata #earth

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Recovering the mass of the circumstellar nebula around a massive star at the end of its evolution

Claudia Agliozzo & Neil Phillips

Massive stars live fast and die young! Whether at death they produce a Supernova or a Black Hole depends on how much of their mass they lose during their life, forming circumstellar nebulae. We will evaluate the mass of the nebula around a massive star near the end of its life.

#ALMA #GEMINI-South #spectroscopy #photometry #circumstellarnebula

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