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The main interests of this research group is to study massive stars in a variety of environments, and so overlaps with other Sheffield astrophysics research groups involving studies of core-collapse supernovae, star clusters and starbursts.
Joachim Bestenlehner is analysing the massive star populations in the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds, including VLT/MUSE integral-field observations of NGC2070 in the LMC. Thaer Kousa starts his PhD studies on ULLYSES/XshootU datasets in Oct 2022. Gemma Rate has previously studied Wolf-Rayet stars with ESA GAIA (PhD completed in Dec 2020), Katie Tehrani (PhD completed in Nov 2019) investigated Wolf-Rayet stars at X-ray and optical wavelengths with honourary researcher Andy Pollock.
We are also involved in the WHT/WEAVE galactic plane Stellar, Circumstellar and Interstellar Physics (SCIP) survey, while Bestenlehner is a member of the upcoming VISTA/4MOST spectroscopic surveys of the Magellanic Clouds 1001MC.
R136 star cluster
Ultraviolet HST/STIS spectroscopy of the young, rich star cluster R136 is available in ASCII format (figure 12 from MNRAS paper, erg/s/cm^2/Ang):
r136_all (integrated light) (TXT, 29KB)
r136_vms (7 very massive stars) (TXT, 30KB)
r136_non-vms (63 brightest non-vms) (TXT, 28KB)
r136_stars (70 brightest stars) (TXT, 28KB)
We have undertaken spectral analyses of these stars from HST/STIS optical and UV spectroscopy (see paper). Former students/postdocs are still involved in our research projects, notably Dr Saida Caballero-Nieves (FIT) involving massive binaries and the R136 star cluster, plus Dr Joanne Pledger (nee Bibby) (UCLan) who is involved with studying Wolf-Rayet populations in nearby star forming galaxies.
Large and Small Magellanic Clouds
Template optical spectra of Wolf-Rayet and related stars from our 2023 study are available via zenodo. Template optical spectra from our previous 2006 study are also available in ASCII format, below, for completeness (though more recent templates are recommended instead).
Large Magellanic Cloud
Small Magellanic Cloud
Galactic Wolf-Rayet catalogue
We host a Galactic Wolf-Rayet catalogue. Template optical spectra of Milky Way Wolf-Rayet stars are available on zenodo from our 2023 study based on GAIA DR3 parallaxes. Earlier templates were produced based on estimated distances – primarily from this article for completeness.
HST/Director: ULLYSES (Hubble UV Legacy Library of Young Stars as Essential Standards) plus XShootU (ULLYSES and XShooter massive stars collaboration).
HST/Cycle 28: GULP (Galaxy UV Legacy Project, PI: E. Sabbi, 88 orbits).
Chandra/Cycle 15: The Tarantula – Revealed by X-rays (T-ReX): A definitive Chandra investigation of 30 Doradus (PI: L. Townsley, 2Msec).
HST/Cycle 20+22: Proper motions of isolated massive stars near the Galactic Centre (GO 12915, PI: D. Lennon, 18+18 orbits).
HST/Cycle 19+20: A massive star census of the starburst cluster R136 (GO 12465+13052: PI: P. Crowther, 32+7 orbits).
Herschel/OT2: Oxygen abundances in carbon-type Wolf-Rayet stars from PACS scan spectroscopy (PI: P. Crowther, 7.7 hours).
HST/Cycle 19: Weighing the most luminous main-sequence star in the Galaxy (GO 12615: PI: O. Schnurr, 14 orbits).
HST/Cycle 19+21: Proper motions of massive stars in 30 Doradus (GO 12499: PI: D. Lennon, 15+15 orbits).
VLT/Large Programme: VLT/FLAMES Tarantula Survey (PI: Chris Evans)