University of Sussex

The University of Sussex was involved in the design and specification of the SPIRE instrument.  Now, their main efforts lie in looking at distant galaxies with the PACS and SPIRE instruments.

NameAbout me
Seb Oliver
University of Sussex
I am leading the largest project of the Herschel mission, using time allocated to the team that built the SPIRE camera.  We will use all the cameras on Herschel to make very sensitive maps of the sky.   We expect to discover 100s of thousands of galaxies in the distant Universe.  We will be seeing these galaxies as they were billions of years ago and so we can see how galaxies have changed over time.  Herschel is special because it picks out only the galaxies that are forming lots of stars and so allows us to test theories of cosmic star formation.
Pete HurleyUniversity of SussexI am a PhD student working with Seb Oliver at Sussex. I am working on radiative transfer models, and their application to the starburst and ultra luminous infrared galaxies that are located in the Herschel Multi-tiered Extragalactic Survey (HerMES), one of the Key Projects for Herschel. Much of the starlight from these source is absorbed by dust within the galaxy, and re-emitted in the far-infrared. This absorption and re-emission can be taken into account through the use of radiative transfer models, allowing fundamental properties of the galaxies to be recovered.
Anthony SmithUniversity of SussexI am a postdoctoral research fellow at Sussex, working on computer algorithms for detecting distant galaxies in SPIRE images, and measuring how bright they are. SPIRE is sensitive to the infrared emission from very cool dust, which is associated with star formation, so most of these galaxies are thought to be forming stars very rapidly. The main challenges come from the resolution of the images: even with Herschel’s huge mirror, galaxies seen at these “far-infrared” and “sub-millimetre” wavelengths all appear as large blobs in the images – and there are thousands of these blobs, all overlapping with each other. We are trying to identify the individual galaxies to help us understand the history of star formation the Universe.