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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
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 recently undertaken spectral analyses of these stars from HST/STIS optical spectroscopy (see MNRAS 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 stars in the LMC and SMC are available in ASCII format, below.
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 will follow based on GAIA EDR3 results. Until then, templates have been produced based on estimated distances – primarily from this article.
HST/Cycle 28: GULP (Galaxy UV Legacy Project, PI: E. Sabbi, 88 orbits).
HST/Cycle 20+22: Proper motions of isolated massive stars near the Galactic Centre (GO 12915, PI: D. Lennon, 18+18 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).
VLT/Large Programme: VLT/FLAMES Tarantula Survey (PI: Chris Evans)