Postdoc: Quantitative spectroscopy as input for
asteroseismic modelling of massive stars observed with the MOST, CoRoT and Kepler space missions
Instituut voor Sterrenkunde
University of Leuven
B - 3001 Leuven
*Short project description*
The IvS is heavily involved in ongoing and future space missions for
asteroseismology and exoplanet hunting. These missions provide ultra-precise
white light photometric data from which the oscillation frequencies can be
derived. A vast number of new massive pulsators (both single and binary stars)
has already been found from the MOST and CoRoT missions and more is to come in
the near future. The goal of the present project is to provide the
necessary spectroscopic information (fundamental parameters, abundances,
rotational and pulsational velocity parameters, binary solutions) to perform a
seismic modelling of the most interesting single and binary massive pulsators
observed with space missions and/or from ground-based network campaigns.
The postdoc shall hold the responsibility to exploit approved spectroscopic
observations from ESO/Paranal with FLAMES/VLT and from La Palma with
HERMES/Mercator. The postdoc shall also take the responsibility to gather and
exploit new spectroscopy with various open-competition telescopes throughout the
The gathered spectroscopy will allow an unbiased classification of the detailed
spectroscopic properties of numerous massive pulsators to derive their
evolutionary status independently from the asteroseismology. The overall goal
of the IvS's seismology programme of massive stars is to achieve extensive
seismic tuning of stars in the uppermost part of the Hertzsprung-Russell
- holds a PhD in Astrophysics;
- has an excellent track record of peer-reviewed publications;
- masters all the necessary steps to fully reduce raw echelle spectroscopy;
- is a recognised expert in quantitative spectroscopy of massive stars;
- masters the use of state-of-the-art NLTE atmospheric models and
- has good knowledge of tools to interprete binary star data.
Knowledge of asteroseismology and/or automated statistical classification
methods are assets, but not requirements. Experience with the reduction and
interpretation of FLAMES/UVES@VLT data is an asset.
The postdoc shall
- perform quantitative analyses of high-resolution spectroscopic data of OB
stars as input for seismic modelling.
- be involved in asteroseismology research of massive stars within the IvS team,
based on MOST, CoRoT and Kepler space data, as well as on ground-based data.
- perform statistical classification and clustering analyses based on
spectroscopic and photometric data to derive the evolutionary status of
massive stars and to delineate observational instability regions in the upper
- co-develop and survey the observational monitoring programmes at the Mercator
telescope and develop efficient tools to streamline the data-flow and the
scientific interpretation of HERMES spectra.
- take up a teaching task in the Bachelor of Physics or in
the Master of Astronomy & Astrophysics of maximum 4 hours/week (courses
- assist the project leader in the writing of and reporting for research grants
(5% of the time).
- perform at least one observing run of two weeks per year for the pooled IvS
programmes at the observatories of La Palma or La Silla.
The postdoc shall have the opportunity to act as supervisor for bachelor and
master project research work and master thesis research, as well as
co-supervisor of PhD students.
- Following the usual procedure at Leuven University, the initial contract runs
over two years and will be prolonged with another two years after positive
evaluation. The position is to be taken up as soon as possible. Applicants are
requested to indicate their availability in their application (not later than 1
- Salary is according to the university regulations for postdoctoral researchers
and depends on age and work experience.
Attention/Comments: Full information available at
Deadline: 1 February 2009