Towards a 1%-accurate distance scale using Cepheid pulsating stars (ESO Chile)

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Towards a 1%-accurate distance scale using Cepheid pulsating stars

keywords : Stellar astrophysics ; Numerical modelling ; Data analysis ; Astronomical Observations

Context : We are seeking an Master’s student to join our team studying Cepheids pulsating stars as distance indicators. We study observationally Cepheids in order to get most accurate distances using the Period-Luminosity and parallax-of-pulsation techniques. These distance indicators play a key roll in establishing the cosmological distance ladder, which is used to measure the Hubble constant thanks to Supernovae, which led to the 2011 Physics Nobel Prize.

Not only we actively observe Cepheids using multiple techniques (photometry, spectroscopy, imaging, optical interferometry, etc.), we also have embarked in an effort to model all these observations using a unique numerical code in order to derive the most accurate distances. We have successfully tested this approach on a few stars (http://arxiv.org/abs/1510.01940).

The role of the student would be to work on one or several of the following (based on taste and skills) :

Test a large scale application of this modelling technique using the data we have collected (ourselves or publicly available)
Participate to observing runs at the Very Large Telescope (http://www.eso.org/public/teles-instr/vlt/)
Participate to the data reduction of the data of our current observing runs
Explore the implementation of new modelling aspects in our code (for example synthetic spectra based on grids of models)

Future developments : our team has secured ANR funds ("Agence Nationale pour la Recherche") so we can offer the student to continue working with us on a 3 years PhD project.

Practical Information : The internship will take place in Chile, at the European Southern Observatory campus in Santiago de Chile (https://www.eso.org/public/about-eso/travel/vitacura/) and at Observatorio Cerro Calan in Las Condes (http://www.oan.cl/). A trip to the VLT site in the north of Chile to participate to observing runs is also possible. Members of the team are French speaking but good English is a requirement in order to interact within ESO and with our international collaborators. Spanish is a definite plus to ease the day-to-day life in Chile. The intern will receive a compensation during his/her stay (up to 6 months).

contacts :

Antoine Mérand, Associate Astronomer (amerand@eso.org)
Pierre Kervella, Full Astronomer (pierre.kervella@obspm.fr)
Alexandre Gallenne, ESO Fellow (agallenn@eso.org)

Accès rapides

Prochain Séminaire de la FIP :
Accéder au programme

Retrouvez toutes les informations pour vos stages :
Stages L3
Stages M1 ICFP
Stages M2 ICFP

Actualités : Séminaire de Recherche ICFP
du 6 au 10 novembre 2017 :

Retrouvez le programme complet

Emploi du temps 2017-2018 :
Emploi du temps L3
Emploi du temps M1 ICFP
Emploi du temps M2 ICFP

Contact - Secrétariat de l’enseignement :
Tél : 01 44 32 35 61
enseignement@phys.ens.fr