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Lieke van Spaandonk

centre of the milky way

Centre of the Milky Way. Credit: ESO/S. Gillessen et al.

Years ago, I was standing on the top of a mountain in the middle of the night, far away from civilisation, looking at the sky. I felt overwhelmed by the thousands and thousands of stars staring down on me.

Now I have not only learned that the vast majority of these stars are located in the Milky Way but also that more than half of these are not single stars but binary stars, two stars so close together that the gravity pull makes them orbit each other.

During my PhD in the Astronomy and Astrophysics group, I'll study a subset of these binary stars, in pursuit of their system parameters. As they are old and evolved systems they help us to better understand binary evolution and test the theory of whether they can be the origin of a Super Nova explosion.


2 June 2011: Pased viva - I am a Dr now.
8 June 2010: HST Proposal approved: An Unprecedented Opportunity to Follow 4 Accreting WDs into the Instabilty Strip (PI: Szkody, id:12231)
14 April 2010: Awarded 3rd poster prize at National Astronomy Meeting 2010 in Glasgow (see poster here)
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Lieke van Spaandonk

Contact Details:

Office: PS 014
Tel: +44 (0)247 655 0942
Fax: +44 (0)247 669 2016

E-Mail: L.van-spaandonk (at)