Stephen Wilkins


Exploring the Distant Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope

Supervisor: Stephen Wilkins

Over the past decade the Hubble Space Telescope has collected extremely sensitive observations of the Universe. These observations have revealed a population of intensely forming galaxies present when the Universe was less than 10% of its current age. With the upcoming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in early 2019 it will soon be possible to both extend samples to earlier periods of the Universe’s history but also robustly measure their physical properties.

In this project you will eventually analyse observations obtained by JWST to study galaxies in the early Universe. In the preliminary stages of the project (i.e. before the launch of JWST) you will focus on building and testing an analysis pipeline on observations from Hubble and synthetic observations generated from large hydrodynamical simulations of galaxy formation that we have access to.

In addition to attendance at national and international conferences it is expected that the student will visit collaborators in the United States and may be required to undertake some observing duties.