Galactic astronomy

We study the formation and evolution of stars and sub-stellar objects.

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Our interests range in scale from the Milky Way disc as a whole, through star clusters, high-mass stars and red giants, down to brown dwarfs, exoplanets and dust grains.

We lead a number of major surveys, in the optical, infrared and sub-millimetre wavelength domains, which both provide new important objects to study in greater detail and allow us to deepen our knowledge of the structure of the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds.

Our work includes the study of rare ultra-metal-poor stars that are vital witnesses to the first period of star formation in the Milky Way. We study mass loss from evolved stars and the subsequent evolution to white dwarfs. We are interested in characterising the local population of brown dwarfs and planetary systems. We also study entire stellar populations across the Local Group, including the Milky Way, in order to understand star formation, and to trace chemical gradients.

Themes include: