Compact Objects and Time Domain Astronomy
We are in the UK top 10 and world top 100 for Physics and Astronomy (QS World Rankings by Subject 2017)
100% of our research is rated world leading or internationally excellent for its impact on society (REF 2021)We are part of the STAG (Southampton Theory, Astronomy and Gravity Research Centre), which combines researchers across Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics; the South East Physics Network (SEPnet), a consortium of nine universities for advancing and protecting Physics; and the the Data Intensive Science Centre in SEPnet (DISCnet), an STFC-funded Centre for Doctoral Training in data-intensive science.
We are a leading group in the UK researching the growth and evolution of compact objects. This includes white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes across their full mass scale. We use multiwavelength observations to examine the relationship between the phenomena of accretion and outflows. This is bringing us closer to understanding how some of the most extreme objects in the cosmos form, grow and change with time, and how they impact their surrounding galaxies.
As part of the Astronomy group, the Space Environment Physics group study the interaction between the Sun and the magnetospheres and upper atmospheres of several planets in the Solar System - from large-scale dynamics of magnetospheres down to the behaviour of the aurora on the finest scales.
We are leading large projects across the optical, infrared, X-ray and radio wavelengths studying the time-domain universe. This includes research that spans a wide range of astrophysical events: from supernovae and other cosmic explosions that last weeks and months, to variability from accretion onto black holes on the timescale of milliseconds. We aim to discover new transient events in the sky and to use their characteristic variations to gain a deeper understanding of extreme physics and the life cycles of stars, and to measure the expansion rate of the universe.