We are hiring PhD students!

As a part of Prague Doctoral Program we seek 1-2 PhD students to work on topics related to the ERC Starting Grant “Catastrophic interactions of binary stars and the associated transients” (Cat-In-hAT). The work will focus on understanding the theory and observational implications of two merging stars, including neutron stars. Depending on the interests of the student, the work could focus on transients from stellar collisions, (magneto)hydrodynamical evolution of merger products, production of dust and molecules, and understanding the observational counterparts (blue stragglers, R CrB stars, FK Com stars, eta Car, progenitor of SN1987A, GW170817, etc.). The work can utilize existing codes or codes under development in the group: 1D stellar evolution, multidimensional low-Mach number magnetohydrodynamics, moving mesh radiation hydrodynamics, or N-body calculations. In addition, the group is a member of All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae, and the thesis can include significant observational or data analysis component.

For application instructions, see Prague Doctoral Program.

We are hiring 2 postdocs!

Postdoctoral Research Positions in Computational and Observational Astrophysics

Applications are invited for 2 postdoctoral positions in our research group:

  1. Computational Astrophysics: multi-dimensional evolution of catastrophic interactions of binary stars (mergers, common envelope, compact objects). Funded by the ERC Starting Grant “Cat-In-hAT“. The position is initially for one year, renewable for up to three years based on performance.
  2. Observational Astrophysics: research projects in the field of time-domain astronomy (transients, eclipsing binaries, variable stars, and asteroids) utilizing data from the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae and other ground- and space-based surveys. Funded by grant to support collaboration between Charles University, Ohio State, and Hawaii). The position is initially for two years, extendable to three years total based on performance and availability of funding.

The research group has access to a dedicated computer cluster and is connected to observational efforts in time-domain astronomy as part of the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae

Applicants must have a PhD in astronomy, computational physics, or a related field by the start date of the appointment. The positions include internationally competitive salary and research budget. Women and underrepresented minority candidates are encouraged to apply.

Application instructions:  Please submit CV, list of publications, statement on past research and future interests, and names and addresses of 3 references to pejcha@utf.mff.cuni.cz. Please indicate which position you are interested in. Applications will be reviewed starting December 31 2019, but the position will remain open until filled.

Bachelor & Master thesis topics

I am looking for Bachelor & Master students. Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of possible topics:

  • Dynamical perturbations of triple stellar and planetary systems seen in gravitational waves with LISA
  • Looking over the cliff: when do close binary stars merge?
  • Combining astrometry a variability information from the Gaia satellite
  • Radiation transport on exploding background and applications to supernovae, stellar mergers, and classical novae
  • Stellar merger model for the progenitor of SN1987A

All topics are related to research of current interest supported by grants and should result in one or more scientific papers. The thesis topic is always finalized upon discussions with the student. The methods of work include semi-analytic calculations, (radiation) hydrodynamics, and statistical analysis of data.

On the triple-star origin of the planetary nebula Sh 2-71

In a paper led by David Jones with Romano Corradi from La Palma we tried to come up with a theory to explain the peculiar shape (including new distant emission regions firstly presented here) and central stars of the planetary nebula. Our preferred models includes Lidov-Kozai cycles and triple star disruption due to ejection of the planetary nebula.

Paper now accepted to MNRAS:https://arxiv.org/abs/1908.04582v1