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Project area/S

  • The Local Universe

Project Details

When massive stars ( >10 x M) form from dense clouds of interstellar gas, their strong radiation field and stellar winds blow bubbles in their ‘birth’ clouds, and the high energy radiation they emit heats the surrounding gas creating ‘HII regions’. These HII regions are the bright nebulae that we see in images like below. What we don’t know is the connection between the number of these massive stars and the structure, size and brightness of these interstellar bubbles. Using data from the PHANGS survey you will match catalogues of stellar clusters from the Hubble space telescope with catalogues of HII regions from the European Southern Observatory’s massive MUSE instrument to understand this connection.


Student Attributes

Academic Background

Preferably astronomy/physics background

Computing Skills
Experience with Unix or linux, python

Training Requirement
Catalogue matching, statistical analysis, & image analysis

Project Timeline

  • Week 1 Inductions and project introduction
  • Week 2 Background reading and Initial Presentation
  • Week 3 Match stellar association catalogue with HII region catalogue
  • Week 4 Stellar statistics of  HII regions
  • Week 5 Explore environmental masks of  HII region & association properties
  • Week 6 Examine HII regions without stellar associations
  • Week 7 Global exploration of HII regions
  • Week 8 In depth examination of a single HII region
  • Week 9 Final Presentation
  • Week 10 Final Report
HST image of a HII region in NGC1672

A Hubble Space Telescope image of a HII region in the galaxy NGC1672. The young massive stars are visible in blue, while the hot gas is shown in red. Various features of the HII region are marked in black. Credit: HST/LEGUS.


Professor Gerhardt Meurer

Senior Principal Research Fellow

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