Stellar and Galactic Astronomy (including cataclysmic variables and stellar pulsation)

Participating Researchers: Michael Feast, Brian Warner, Patricia Whitelock, Patrick Woudt, Vanessa McBride, Thebe Medupe
Current Postdoctoral Fellows: Matthew Schurch
Current PhD students: Mellony Spark, Marissa Kotze, Andry Rajoelimanana
Current Masters Students: Deanne de Bude, Sally Macfarlane

Within this theme we explore the late stages of stellar evolution, the mass loss of stars, stellar pulsations as well as the structure of our Galaxy. This item further includes the physics of mass-accreting white dwarfs in (ultra)compact binaries, non- radial pulsations in accreting white dwarfs, and Galactic plane surveys to determine the population of ultra-compact binaries in the Milky Way. We also explore stellar pulsations which are important in revealing parts of stars that are inaccessible because they are opaque. But we can trace seismic waves set up by the pulsations thoughout much of the star. Our research at UCT astronomy involves both observations and theoretical modelling of pulsating stars. Current research involves numerical modelling of interactions of radiation, convection and
stellar pulsations.