I have moved to the University of Cambridge to work on Gaia Alerts! Please contact me at
I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Astronomy group at the University of Warwick.
I am interested in accreting compact objects across the mass spectrum, from white dwarfs (Cataclysmic Variable Stars; CVs) to black holes (Active Galactic Nuclei; AGN).
My research is focused on the time-domain variability of these systems and what it implies for their structure and geometry. I also use large scale surveys to identify large samples of cataclysmic variables, which we use to understand how binary stars evolve. Further details may be found om my research page.
See also my list of publications.
Cataclysmic Variables from Gaia
The The European Space Agency's Gaia satellite was successfully and safely launched on 19 December 2013! Its primary science mission is to measure the distances to a billion stars in our Galaxy, essentially creating a 3D map of the Milky Way. The results from the Gaia survey will underpin astronomical research in the next few decades.
Gaia will scan the sky repeatedly over its 5 year lifetime, giving multiple observations of the same stars. This will allow us to identify many new variable stars, among which we expect hundreds of Cataclysmic Variables. When Gaia's data starts flowing, we will carry out large observational programs to identify and characterise the new systems it finds. Some of these will be bright enough to be observed with small telescopes, so if you have a telescope equipped with a CCD camera, you can get involved! If you are interested in contrbuting your observations, please sign up to my mailing list for further information.
You can also follow this link to learn more about Gaia and the UK's contribution to the project.
Quick links to some of my other research project pages:
- Table of Catalina CV candidates, as analysed and published in this MNRAS paper
The road to here: I completed my undergraduate and honours studies at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, then moved to the University of the Free State for my M.Sc. studies as part of the South African National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme (NASSP). I was fortunate to be awarded a SALT Scholarship to complete my Ph.D. studies at the University of Southampton, UK, after which I moved here, to the University of Warwick.
Dr. Elmé Breedt (Lategan)
Department of Physics
University of Warwick
Tel: (+44) (0)24761 50341
eMail: E.Breedt warwick.ac.uk