Resolving stellar populations beyond the Local Group with ELT/MOSAIC

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 09 Oct 2023

We plan to start a post-doctoral position at the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API) of the University of Amsterdam preparing for the construction of the MOSAIC instrument on the ESO Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). The post-doc will be embedded in the research group focused on the formation, evolution and fate of massive stars led by Prof. Dr. Lex Kaper and Prof. Dr. Alex de Koter in Amsterdam, in close collaboration with the MOSAIC instrument team of NOVA in Dwingeloo.

MOSAIC is one of the two planned second-light instruments for the ELT (first light 2028). MOSAIC is a fiber-fed instrument employing both a high-multiplex mode and a high-definition mode (IFUs) in the wavelength range from 450 (goal 390) to 1800 nm. NOVA is the lead of the visual channel. MOSAIC will provide the ELT with the powerful ability to obtain visible and near-infrared spectroscopy of large samples of astronomical objects, significantly improving upon ESO’s current facilities. It will yield unprecedented observations of objects ranging from resolved stellar populations in a representative number of galaxies up to the Virgo cluster, to the most distant galaxies at the edge of the observable Universe. MOSAIC is expected to see first light in 2032.

The scientific focus of the advertised position will be on the formation, evolution, and fate of (resolved) massive stars in the Local Group and beyond. At the defining phase of MOSAIC we want to make sure that the capabilities of the instrument are such that the relevant spectral information of these massive stars is obtained, addressing key questions on their formation, mass-loss properties as a function of metallicity, and feedback processes impacting on a galactic scale. Several scientific and technical trade-offs have to be made in close consultation with the technical team; the post-doc is expected to contribute to the scientific motivation needed to make these trade-offs. Up to half of the time the post-doc is expected to work on their own research program.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

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