One of the powerhouse X-ray telescopes of our time, XMM-Newton, has just recently turned 20 years old. MSSL has been heavily involved in this mission. Sam Grafton-Waters, a third year PhD student at the lab use uses data from XMM to study active galactic nuclei, tells us more about this enduring satellite, and looks to the future.
The distortion of the images of distant galaxies by the gravity of the large-scale structure of the Universe can be a powerful tool to help us understand our Universe. By measuring this distortion, known as cosmic shear, we can constrain cosmological parameters. However, in our analyses, we make certain approximations that may no longer be valid. Anurag Deshpande, a second-year PhD student tells us about two such effects; the reduced shear approximation and magnification bias.
Not all PhD students join us directly after finishing their Master degree studies. Anurag Deshpande, a first year PhD student, spent a year working at the European Space Agency (ESA), as a Young Graduate Trainee (YGT). With the application process for the next round of YGTs now open, he discusses his time working on the James Webb Space Telescope, how he found the experience, and how it continues to influence him in his PhD research.