NGC3949 : Hubble Space Telescope image taken by S. Smartt (Credit : NASA/ESA, The Hubble Heritage Team STSCI/AURA) and album cover by the The Empires
I am Director of the Astrophysics Research Centre in the School of Maths and Physics at Queen's University Belfast. I hold an ERC Advanced grant (2012 - 2017) for work on superluminous supernovae and their progenitor stars.
I am a previous holder of a European Young Investigator (EURYI) Award and PPARC Advanced Fellowship. I have held positions at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge and the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes on La Palma. A CV can be found here.
My group works on supernovae and the deaths of massive stars. We have leading roles in two large international projects to study supernovae and the transient Universe. We are partners in the Pan-STARRS project to scientifically exploit the 3.5 year survey of the PS1 Science consortium. I am PI and Survey Director of PESSTO, the Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects. This is an ESO public spectroscopic survey at La Silla, with 90N per year on the New Technology Telescope.
For the last decade I have been searching for the
progenitors core-collapse supernovae in images of
galaxies taken before explosion, much like the one
shown above, that I took with the Hubble Space
Telescope. The results of this work were published in
Crockett & Maund (2009, The death of massive
stars I) and in Eldridge,
Fraser, Smartt, Maund, Crockett (2013, The death of
massive stars II). My review article on this
topic for the Annual
Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics,
be accessed here : "Progenitors of
core-collapse supernovae", S.J. Smartt, 2009,
ARA&A, 47, 63