Episode 10: Stars behaving badly!

with Priscilla Muheki and Prof Hakeem Oluseyi

We are joined by two experts in stellar astronomy, Priscilla Muheki from Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda and Distinguished Professor Hakeem Oluseyi from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Priscilla talks about her PhD research in Uganda studying violent outbursts, known as coronal mass ejections, from certain types of stars.

This animation shows a solar tsunami expanding out from an active region just after a solar flare on July 14, 2000. Credits: ESA/NASA/SOHO

Hakeem then goes on the explain these coronal mass ejections and the violent magnetic fields associated with them, and what effect they may have on both our technology and our entire planet!

Hakeem also talks about his visit to South Africa to assist in forming the African Astronomical Society (AfAS) and the incredible achievements of the South African National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme (NASSP) which has produced over 150 MSc Students and 90 PhD’s!

Solar Cycle Prediction. 

Episode Links:
Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda: https://www.must.ac.ug/
Hakeem Oluseyi: https://www.fit.edu/faculty-profiles/4/hakeem-oluseyi/
AfAS: https://www.africanastronomicalsociety.org
NASSP: https://www.star.ac.za/

This weeks guests:

Episode 9: Simulating the Universe – Part 2

with Nicole Thomas and Dr Nathan Deg

We continue our discussion from Episode 8 on simulating the Universe, this week focusing on the simulation of actual galaxies.

Nicole explains the SIMBA suite of simulations she is working on. SIMBA is a set of simulations which look at how the super-massive black holes at the centre of galaxies affect the galaxy they live in. She also talks about her experience growing up and studying in Cape Town, and some of the challenges she’s faced.

A simulated galaxy from the SIMBA suite of simulations

Nathan chats with us about his work creating individual galaxies within a computer using a new code he has just published. Using this we can learn more about how galaxies change over time and interact with their environments.

Two colliding galaxies built in GalactICS by Dr Nathan Deg.

Episode Links:
UWC: http://astro.uwc.ac.za/
Royal Observatory Edinburgh: https://www.roe.ac.uk/
UCT Astronomy: http://www.ast.uct.ac.za/
Nathan’s Blog post about his code: https://nathandeg.com/2019/06/04/galactics-for-the-non-astronomers/
Nathan’s GalactICS paper: https://arxiv.org/abs/1904.12700

Featured Image:
Looking at two colliding galaxies built in GalactICS in virtual reality. Video by Dr Nathan Deg, generated in collaboration with Mr Sivitilli, Dr Comrie, and Prof Jarrett in the IDIA visualization laboratory.

This week’s guests:

Episode 8: Simulating the Universe

with Prof Romeel Davé 

Prof Romeel Davé, from the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, and who spent 5 years working in Cape Town, introduces us to simulations! He explains how we can use simulations to perform experiments to test our understanding of the physics of the Universe.

Romeel also talks about his time here in South Africa, and his involvement in the MeerKAT radio telescope and the general development of astronomy on the African continent.

This week’s guest:

Prof Romeel Davé

Episode Links:

Romeel’s Quora Profile: https://www.quora.com/profile/Romeel-Dav%C3%A9
SARAO: https://www.ska.ac.za/about/sarao/
UWC: http://astro.uwc.ac.za/
Royal Observatory Edinburgh: https://www.roe.ac.uk/
MeerKAT: https://www.ska.ac.za/science-engineering/meerkat/about-meerkat/

Featured Image: A Simulated Galaxy courtesy of Romeel Dave.