research: current research includes exoplanet
detection using the
microlensing effect as well as time-domain
surveys of our Galaxy and its neighbours.
Microlensing is one of the key exoplanet detection methods being used to find cooler low-mass exoplanets in regions around their hosts where some theories suggest most planets are formed. I am a member of the MiNDSTEp exoplanet microlensing follow-up team and I am also involved in helping to design space-based microlensing exoplanet surveys. Two possibilities for such surveys include the ESA EUCLID and NASA WFIRST mission candidates. Space-based microlensing surveys promise to complement the survey of hot and warm exoplanets being discovered by the Kepler mission by surveying the cold-planet population down to Earth masses, enabling a more complete understanding of exoplanetary architectures and the process of planet formation.
I am also involved in the largest survey of near-infrared variable sources within our Galaxy. The VVV project aims to monitor up to 10 million variable sources over five years using the VISTA telescope in Chile. It is one of six ESO Public Surveys using VISTA. By exploiting the relative transparency of our Galaxy at near infrared wavelengths VVV will be able to use the distribution of variable stars to map the structure of the inner Galaxy in three dimensions. It will also provide a more complete understanding of a wide range of astrophysical systems such as the globular cluster population, eclipsing binary systems, high propoer motion objects and stellar microlensing events.
|teaching: I teach a component of the 1st-year Special Topics in Physics course (PHYS 10181F). I lecture the 2nd-year undergraduate course on galaxies (PHYS 20491). I have recently set up a new experiment in the 3rd-year Lab (PHYS 30181), entitled "On the Trail of Dark Matter and Extra-solar Planets: An Introduction to Gravitational Microlensing ".|
I am an astrophysicist and lecturer based at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, part of the School of Physics & Astronomy within the Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences at the University of Manchester.
17 May 2011
by Eamonn Kerins