Lancaster students’ work published in their own scientific journal

students © Gordon Chapman-Fox
The students with Dr David Sobral (right) and Professor Isobel Hook (second left)

Astrophysics students have had their undergraduate research published as scientific papers.

The 3rd year undergraduates were each given a printed copy of the first volume of Notices of Lancaster University Astrophysics (NLUAstro), published using the same procedure as professionally refereed journals.

The journal includes scientific results from the first five research groups which took the new module - the Astrophysics Group Project - in 2019.

The group project module provides students with the opportunity to make exciting discoveries with real state-of-the-art data from telescopes like the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the Isaac Newton Telescope (INT), or the Very Large Telescope (VLT), among others, during 10 weeks.

Dr David Sobral, the module convenor and supervisor who presented the students with their copies of the journal, said their work had been “outstanding.”

“The results presented here are, like any other science endeavour, just a start of a journey to understand how and why our Universe works in its full complexity. We can only really see significantly further by standing on the shoulders of giants and by working collaboratively, continuously improving and questioning what we know. I am certainly not alone in looking forward to what new generations of studies will find by facing even the most complex questions head on.”

This first edition of NLUAstro presents the final papers produced as part of the project.

Some of the topics included:

·        Determining the physical properties of open and globular star clusters from data taken by the students, revealing striking differences between them

·        analysis of some promising candidates for being the most metal poor stars ever found in our Galactic Halo

·        the nature and diversity of local galaxies, showing how galaxy properties change strongly as a function of stellar mass

·        the nature of thousands of incredibly distant galaxies and super-massive black holes by exploring our Lancaster-led SC4K survey of 4,000 Lyman-alpha emitters in the COSMOS field.


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