Our Research

Galactic Astrophysics

Bug Nebula
Our Hubble Space Telescope image of the Bug Nebula shows complex outflows of gas from a fiery, dying star.
Image: ESA, NASA, Albert Zijlstra (JBCA)

Understanding the life cycle of matter in galaxies is among the most important quests of current astrophysics. Driven by new observational capabilities, the UK has become world leading in this field,

The Manchester astrophysics group focuses on the crucial interface of stellar and galactic evolution. We specialise in astrochemistry, astrophysics of dust, star and planet formation, masers, molecular clouds, galactic structure, planetary nebulae, stellar winds and explosions.

We make observations across the electromagnetic spectrum from radio to X-ray wavelengths, and combine them with theoretical models and laboratory measurements.

If you're considering applying to do your Ph.D. with us, you can see an unofficial list of potential student projects.

News items

Dust The Birth of a Monster - Observations with the new ALMA telescope in Chile have found the most massive embryonic star known in our Galaxy.
Dust Dust in the wind of black holes - Space dust (the building material for making planets) was manufactured in the winds of black holes in the early universe.
Ant Nebula The heart of the Cosmic Ant - Astronomers discover a disk around the star inside the Ant Nebula, resembling a stellar version of Saturn's rings.
RS Oph HST Hubble reveals aftermath of "Star Wars" - First direct optical images of the aftermath of a titanic stellar explosion.
Whirlpool Dying stars leave whirpools in their wake - Giant whirlpools form in the wake of stars as they move through clouds in interstellar space.
VX Sgr Red supergiant cauldrons let off steam - Steamy clouds have been observed bubbling away from four massive stars known as red supergiants.
RS Oph VLBA Nuclear explosion on dead star - A nuclear explosion on a dead star results in a blast wave moving at four million miles per hour.