WARP: We Are Really Poor (metal-poor star search)

Space, the final frontier. These are the adventures of the Lancaster Astrophysics group WARP. Its continuing mission: to explore a tiny section of the galactic halo; to seek out metal-poor stars and survive 10 long weeks; to boldly point a telescope where everyone else has pointed one before.

This is our brave WARP crew:

Lancaster Astrophysics group WARP. From left to right we have: LCdr. Geordi La Forge (Joe Gough; theory lead), Cdr. Deanna Troi (Claire O’Neill; communications lead), LCdr. Data (Joshua Butterworth; coding lead), Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (Andrew Jenkins; coordinator), Guinan (Flo Wragg; administrator) and Cdr. William T. Riker (James Edwards; error analysis lead).

If it wasn’t too obvious, we are trying to find metal-poor stars in the galactic halo, meaning some of the oldest stars in the universe. Pop III stars, the most metal-poor in existence, are the cause of the reionisation of the Universe, which essentially means they’re the reason that the Universe exists as it does. They’re also the reason why we can write this awesome blog.

Throughout the next few weeks, we will be searching through a tiny section of the galactic halo to find these Pop III stars, but sadly and unsurprisingly the odds are stacked against us. We have to try and find stars that may have already died, that may have gained metals from their surroundings (which makes them… not metal-poor) or just may not be in halo all together.

Make it so.

Weekly Research Updates:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Alternatively, read all the update posts in one place.