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 astronomy research, instrumentation, or software development.

Six research projects will be offered for the programme in 2021; 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 key topics and skills that characterise the projects.. 

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!


Spiral arms as drivers of chemical enrichment in galaxies

Laura Sánchez-Menguiano & Dimitri Gadotti

Are spiral arms more metal-rich than the underlying galaxy disc? Join us on the effort to answer this question and unveil the role of the spiral structure in the evolution of their host galaxies.

#spectroscopy #MUSE #VLT #optical #spiralgalaxies #gasmetallicity #spiralarms #python

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Go with the flow: probing the flows and fate of gas in barred spiral galaxies

Francesca Fragkoudi, Eric Emsellem & Adrian Bittner

Explore how gas funnels towards the central regions of spiral galaxies, and what its ultimate fate is, using state of the art numerical simulations: how much of it forms stars and how much gets swallowed up by the Supermassive Black Hole?

#galaxies #fueling #bars #discs #python #NumericalSimulations #BlackHoles

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From birth to death: the multiple faces of accretion

Anna Pala, Carlo Manara & Nicola Gentile Fusillo

Stars come to life accreting mass from their surroundings. Yet, accretion bears death when entire stars are devoured by a nearby compact object. Come to study accretion from birth to death of stars!

#spectroscopy  #photometry  #VLT  #GaiaEDR3  #GaiaMission  #accretion  #protoplanetarydisk  #blackhole  #neutronstar  #whitedwarf  #modelling

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The mysterious [CII] emission in the interstellar medium of galaxies

Michele Ginolfi, Gergo Popping & Paola Andreani

Compile the largest dataset of [CII] observations in galaxies over the cosmic time, and discover new properties of the interstellar medium. Learn how to use ALMA, and get experienced with advanced statistical analyses.

#galaxies #gas #interstellar-medium #emission-lines #[CII] #ALMA #python #statistics

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Probing the building blocks of planets with ALMA

Łukasz Tychoniec, Maria Koutoulaki & Leonardo Testi

First seeds of planets are made by small particles of interstellar dust sticking together. Help us to understand how, when and where the dust starts to grow as we explore ALMA observations of young Solar System analogues.

#ALMA #interferometry #starformation #planetformation #interstellardust

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Measuring IMF in high density stellar systems, i.e. relic galaxies and globular clusters

Magda Arnaboldi, Lodo Coccato, Chiara Spiniello (Oxford) & Carlos Barbosa (Univ. S. Paulo)

Join us on the investigation of the stellar initial mass function (IMF) in galaxies. This is the equivalent of the DNA of a living cell, it provides a quantitative mapping of the way stars are formed, how many there are in each mass bin. We want to study how this basic ¨code¨ is set in relic galaxies and in globular clusters. These are similar high density stellar systems and their differences i.e. total mass, may be the key to unmask the physics which encodes the DNA of stellar systems.

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