B. M. Swinyard

National Observatory of Athens, Athínai, Attica, Greece

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Publications (417)581.03 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Aim: The late stages of stellar evolution are mainly governed by the mass of the stars. Low- and intermediate-mass stars lose copious amounts of mass during the asymptotic giant branch (AGB) which obscure the central star making it difficult to study the stellar spectra and determine the stellar mass. In this study, we present observational data that can be used to determine lower limits to the stellar mass. Method: Spectra of nine heavily reddened AGB stars taken by the Herschel Space Observatory display numerous molecular emission lines. The strongest emission lines are due to H2O. We search for the presence of isotopologues of H2O in these objects. Result: We detected the 16O and 17O isotopologues of water in these stars, but lines due to H2^{18}O are absent. The lack of 18O is predicted by a scenario where the star has undergone hot-bottom burning which preferentially destroys 18O relative to 16O and 17O. From stellar evolution calculations, this process is thought to occur when the stellar mass is above 5 Msun for solar metallicity. Hence, observations of different isotopologues of H2O can be used to help determine the lower limit to the initial stellar mass. Conclusion: From our observations, we deduce that these extreme OH/IR stars are intermediate-mass stars with masses of >= 5 Msun. Their high mass-loss rates of ~ 1.0e-4 Msun/yr may affect the enrichment of the interstellar medium and the overall chemical evolution of our Galaxy.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 05/2015; DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201526270 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The progress and results of the ongoing FP7-FISICA programme to re-asses the scientific goals of a Far-Infrared Space Interfereometer and push the development of some of its key technology elements are reported.
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    ABSTRACT: A systematic programme of calibration observations was carried out to monitor the performance of the SPIRE FTS instrument on board the Herschel Space Observatory. Observations of planets (including the prime point-source calibrator, Uranus), asteroids, line sources, dark sky, and cross-calibration sources were made in order to monitor repeatability and sensitivity, and to improve FTS calibration. We present a complete analysis of the full set of calibration observations and use them to assess the performance of the FTS. Particular care is taken to understand and separate out the effect of pointing uncertainties, including the position of the internal beam steering mirror for sparse observations in the early part of the mission. The repeatability of spectral line centre positions is <5km/s, for lines with signal-to-noise ratios >40, corresponding to <0.5-2.0% of a resolution element. For spectral line flux, the repeatability is better than 6%, which improves to 1-2% for spectra corrected for pointing offsets. The continuum repeatability is 4.4% for the SLW band and 13.6% for the SSW band, which reduces to ~1% once the data have been corrected for pointing offsets. Observations of dark sky were used to assess the sensitivity and the systematic offset in the continuum, both of which were found to be consistent across the FTS detector arrays. The average point-source calibrated sensitivity for the centre detectors is 0.20 and 0.21 Jy [1 sigma; 1 hour], for SLW and SSW. The average continuum offset is 0.40 Jy for the SLW band and 0.28 Jy for the SSW band.
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    ABSTRACT: We present new Herschel photometric and spectroscopic observations of Supernova 1987A, carried out in 2012. Our dedicated photometric measurements provide new 70 micron data and improved imaging quality at 100 and 160 micron compared to previous observations in 2010. Our Herschel spectra show only weak CO line emission, and provide an upper limit for the 63 micron [O I] line flux, eliminating the possibility that line contaminations distort the previously estimated dust mass. The far-infrared spectral energy distribution (SED) is well fitted by thermal emission from cold dust. The newly measured 70 micron flux constrains the dust temperature, limiting it to nearly a single temperature. The far-infrared emission can be fitted by 0.5+-0.1 Msun of amorphous carbon, about a factor of two larger than the current nucleosynthetic mass prediction for carbon. The observation of SiO molecules at early and late phases suggests that silicates may also have formed and we could fit the SED with a combination of 0.3 Msun of amorphous carbon and 0.5 Msun of silicates, totalling 0.8 Msun of dust. Our analysis thus supports the presence of a large dust reservoir in the ejecta of SN 1987A. The inferred dust mass suggests that supernovae can be an important source of dust in the interstellar medium, from local to high-redshift galaxies.
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    ABSTRACT: In our series of papers presenting the Herschel imaging of evolved planetary nebulae, we present images of the dust distribution in the Helix nebula (NGC 7293). Images at 70, 160, 250, 350, and 500 micron were obtained with the PACS and SPIRE instruments on board the Herschel satellite. The broadband maps show the dust distribution over the main Helix nebula to be clumpy and predominantly present in the barrel wall. We determined the spectral energy distribution of the main nebula in a consistent way using Herschel, IRAS, and Planck flux values. The emissivity index of 0.99 +/- 0.09, in combination with the carbon rich molecular chemistry of the nebula, indicates that the dust consists mainly of amorphous carbon. The dust excess emission from the central star disk is detected at 70 micron and the flux measurement agree with previous measurement. We present the temperature and dust column density maps. The total dust mass across the Helix nebula (without its halo) is determined to be 0.0035 solar mass at a distance of 216 pc. The temperature map shows dust temperatures between 22 and 42 K, which is similar to the kinetic temperature of the molecular gas, strengthening the fact that the dust and gas co-exist in high density clumps. Archived images are used to compare the location of the dust emission in the far infrared (Herschel) with the ionized (GALEX, Hbeta) and molecular hydrogen component. The different emission components are consistent with the Helix consisting of a thick walled barrel-like structure inclined to the line of sight. The radiation field decreases rapidly through the barrel wall.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 11/2014; 574. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424189 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present Herschel far-IR photometry and spectroscopy as well as ground based CO observations of an intermediate redshift (0.21 < z < 0.88) sample of Herschel-selected (ultra)-luminous infrared galaxies (L_IR > 10^11.5L_sun). With these measurements we trace the dust continuum, far-IR atomic line emission, in particular [CII]\,157.7microns, as well as the molecular gas of z~0.3 (U)LIRGs and perform a detailed investigation of the interstellar medium of the population. We find that the majority of Herschel-selected intermediate redshift (U)LIRGs have L_CII/L_FIR ratios that are a factor of about 10 higher than that of local ULIRGs and comparable to that of local normal and high-$z$ star forming galaxies. Using our sample to bridge local and high-z [CII] observations, we find that the majority of galaxies at all redshifts and all luminosities follow a L_CII-L_FIR relation with a slope of unity, from which local ULIRGs and high-z AGN dominated sources are clear outliers. We also confirm that the strong anti-correlation between the L_CII/L_FIR ratio and the far-IR color L_60/L_100 observed in the local Universe holds over a broad range of redshifts and luminosities, in the sense that warmer sources exhibit lower L_CII/L_FIR at any epoch. Intermediate redshift ULIRGs are also characterised by large molecular gas reservoirs and by lower star formation efficiencies compared to that of local ULIRGs. The high L_CII/L_FIR ratios, the moderate star formation efficiencies (L_LIR/L_CO or L_IR/M_gas) and the relatively low dust temperatures of our sample (which are also common characteristics of high-z star forming galaxies with ULIRG-like luminosities) indicate that the evolution of the physical properties of (U)LIRGs between the present day and z > 1 is already significant by z ~ 0.3.
    The Astrophysical Journal 09/2014; 796(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/796/1/63 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The construction of a kilometer-baseline far infrared imaging interferometer is one of the big instrumental challenges for astronomical instrumentation in the coming decades. Recent proposals such as FIRI, SPIRIT, and PFI illustrate both science cases, from exo-planetary science to study of interstellar media and cosmology, and ideas for construction of such instruments, both in space and on the ground. An interesting option for an imaging multi-aperture interferometer with km baseline is the space-based hyper telescope (HT) where a giant, sparsely populated primary mirror is constituted of several free-flying satellites each carrying a mirror segment. All the segments point the same object and direct their part of the pupil towards a common focus where another satellite, containing recombiner optics and a detector unit, is located. In Labeyrie’s [1] original HT concept, perfect phasing of all the segments was assumed, allowing snap-shot imaging within a reduced field of view and coronagraphic extinction of the star. However, for a general purpose observatory, image reconstruction using closure phase a posteriori image reconstruction is possible as long as the pupil is fully non-redundant. Such reconstruction allows for much reduced alignment tolerances, since optical path length control is only required to within several tens of wavelengths, rather than within a fraction of a wavelength. In this paper we present preliminary studies for such an instrument and plans for building a miniature version to be flown on a nano satellite. A design for recombiner optics is proposed, including a scheme for exit pupil re-organization, is proposed, indicating the focal plane satellite in the case of a km-baseline interferometer could be contained within a 1m3 unit. Different options for realization of a miniature version are presented, including instruments for solar observations in the visible and the thermal infrared and giant planet observations in the visible, and an algorithm for design of optimal aperture layout based on least-squares minimization is described. A first experimental setup realized by master students is presented, where a 20mm baseline interferometer with 1mm apertures associated with a thermal infrared camera pointed the sun. The absence of fringes in this setup is discussed in terms of spatial spectrum analysis. Finally, we discuss requirements in terms of satellite pointing requirements for such a miniature interferometer.
    SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation; 07/2014
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    ABSTRACT: EChOSim is the end-to-end time-domain simulator of the Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory (EChO) space mission. EChOSim has been developed to assess the capability EChO has to detect and characterize the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets, and through this revolutionize the knowledge we have of the Milky Way and of our place in the Galaxy. Here we discuss the details of the EChOSim implementation and describe the models used to represent the instrument and to simulate the detection. Software simulators have assumed a central role in the design of new instrumentation and in assessing the level of systematics affecting the measurements of existing experiments. Thanks to its high modularity, EChOSim can simulate basic aspects of several existing and proposed spectrometers for exoplanet transits, including instruments on the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer, or ground-based and balloon borne experiments. A discussion of different uses of EChOSim is given, including examples of simulations performed to assess the EChO mission.
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    ABSTRACT: The Herschel SPIRE instrument consists of an imaging photometric camera and an imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS), both operating over a frequency range of 450-1550 GHz. In this paper, we briefly review the FTS design, operation, and data reduction, and describe in detail the approach taken to relative calibration (removal of instrument signatures) and absolute calibration against standard astronomical sources. The calibration scheme assumes a spatially extended source and uses the Herschel telescope as primary calibrator. Conversion from extended to point-source calibration is carried out using observations of the planet Uranus. The model of the telescope emission is shown to be accurate to within 6% and repeatable to better than 0.06% and, by comparison with models of Mars and Neptune, the Uranus model is shown to be accurate to within 3%. Multiple observations of a number of point-like sources show that the repeatability of the calibration is better than 1%, if the effects of the satellite absolute pointing error (APE) are corrected. The satellite APE leads to a decrement in the derived flux, which can be up to ~10% (1 sigma) at the high-frequency end of the SPIRE range in the first part of the mission, and ~4% after Herschel operational day 1011. The lower frequency range of the SPIRE band is unaffected by this pointing error due to the larger beam size. Overall, for well-pointed, point-like sources, the absolute flux calibration is better than 6%, and for extended sources where mapping is required it is better than 7%.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 06/2014; 440(4):3658-3674. DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu409 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We aimed to measure the H2O and dust production rates in C/2006 W3 (Christensen) with the Herschel Space Observatory at a heliocentric distance of ~ 5 AU. We have searched for emission in the H2O and NH3 ground-state rotational transitions at 557 GHz and 572 GHz, simultaneously, with HIFI onboard Herschel on UT 1.5 September 2010. Photometric observations of the dust coma in the 70 and 160 {\mu}m channels were acquired with the PACS instrument on UT 26.5 August 2010. A tentative 4-{\sigma} H2O line emission feature was found in the spectra obtained with the HIFI wide-band and high-resolution spectrometers, from which we derive a water production rate of $2.0(5) \times 10^{27}$ molec. s$^{-1}$. A 3-{\sigma} upper limit for the ammonia production rate of <$1.5 \times 10^{27}$ molec. s$^{-1}$ is obtained taking into account the contribution from all hyperfine components. The blueshift of the water line detected by HIFI suggests preferential emission from the subsolar point. However, it is also possible that water sublimation occurs in small ice-bearing grains that are emitted from an active region on the nucleus surface at a speed of ~ 0.2 km s$^{-1}$. The dust thermal emission was detected in the 70 and 160 {\mu}m filters, with a more extended emission in the blue channel. The dust production rates, obtained for a dust size distribution index that explains the fluxes at the photocenters of the PACS images, lie in the range 70-110 kg s$^{-1}$. Scaling the CO production rate measured post-perihelion at 3.20 and 3.32 AU, these values correspond to a dust-to-gas production rate ratio in the range 0.3-0.4. The dust production rates derived in August 2010 are roughly one order of magnitude lower than in September 2009, suggesting that the dust-to-gas production rate ratio remained approximately constant during the period when the activity became increasingly dominated by CO outgassing.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2014; 564. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201423427 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Helix Nebula (NGC 7293) is the closest planetary nebulae. Therefore, it is an ideal template for photochemical studies at small spatial scales in planetary nebulae. We aim to study the spatial distribution of the atomic and the molecular gas, and the structure of the photodissociation region along the western rims of the Helix Nebula as seen in the submillimeter range with Herschel. We use 5 SPIRE FTS pointing observations to make atomic and molecular spectral maps. We analyze the molecular gas by modeling the CO rotational lines using a non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) radiative transfer model. For the first time, we have detected extended OH+ emission in a planetary nebula. The spectra towards the Helix Nebula also show CO emission lines (from J= 4 to 8), [NII] at 1461 GHz from ionized gas, and [CI] (2-1), which together with the OH+ lines, trace extended CO photodissociation regions along the rims. The estimated OH+ column density is (1-10)x1e12 cm-2. The CH+ (1-0) line was not detected at the sensitivity of our observations. Non-LTE models of the CO excitation were used to constrain the average gas density (n(H2)=(1-5)x1e5 cm-3) and the gas temperature (Tk= 20-40 K). The SPIRE spectral-maps suggest that CO arises from dense and shielded clumps in the western rims of the Helix Nebula whereas OH+ and [CI] lines trace the diffuse gas and the UV and X-ray illuminated clumps surface where molecules reform after CO photodissociation. [NII] traces a more diffuse ionized gas component in the interclump medium.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2014; DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201322941 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory EChO is a space mission concept studied by the European Space Agency in the context of the M3 selection process. Through direct measurement of the atmospheric chemical composition of hundreds of exoplanets, EChO would address fundamental questions such as: What are exoplanets made of? How do planets form and evolve? What is the origin of exoplanet diversity? More specifically, EChO is a dedicated survey mission for transit and eclipse spectroscopy capable of observing a large, diverse and well-defined planetary sample within its four to six year mission lifetime. In this paper we use the end-to-end instrument simulator EChOSim to model the currently discovered targets, to gauge which targets are observable and assess the EChO performances obtainable for each observing tier and time. We show that EChO would be capable of observing a large and diverse sample of planets even if it were launched today, and the wealth of optimal targets for EChO expected to be discovered in the next 5 years by space and ground-based facilities is simply overwhelming. In addition, we build on previous molecular detectability studies to show what molecules and abundances will be detectable by EChO for a selection of real targets with various molecular compositions and abundances. EChO's unique contribution to exoplanetary science will be in identifying the main constituents of hundreds of exoplanets in various mass/temperature regimes, meaning that we will be looking no longer at individual cases but at populations. Such a universal view is critical if we truly want to understand the processes of planet formation and evolution in various environments. The full results are available online http://www.ucl.ac.uk/exoplanets/echotargetlist/.
    Experimental Astronomy 03/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10686-014-9436-8 · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the results from a 19-hr integration with the SPIRE Fourier Transform Spectrometer aboard the Herschel Space Observatory which has revealed the presence of a molecular outflow from the Cosmic Eyelash (SMM J2135-0102, hereafter SMMJ2135) via the detection of blueshifted OH absorption. Detections of several fine-structure emission lines indicate low-excitation HII regions contribute strongly to the [CII] luminosity in this z = 2.3 ULIRG. The OH feature suggests a maximum wind velocity of 700 km/s and outflow rate of ~60 Msun/yr. This is lower than the expected escape velocity of the host dark matter halo, ~1000 km/s. A large fraction of the available molecular gas could thus be converted into stars via a burst protracted by the resulting gas fountain, until an AGN-driven outflow can eject the remaining gas.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 02/2014; 442(2). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu967 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The protonated Argon ion, $^{36}$ArH$^{+}$, has been identified recently in the Crab Nebula (Barlow et al. 2013) from Herschel spectra. Given the atmospheric opacity at the frequency of its $J$=1-0 and $J$=2-1 rotational transitions (617.5 and 1234.6 GHz, respectively), and the current lack of appropriate space observatories after the recent end of the Herschel mission, future studies on this molecule will rely on mid-infrared observations. We report on accurate wavenumber measurements of $^{36}$ArH$^{+}$ and $^{38}$ArH$^{+}$ rotation-vibration transitions in the $v$=1-0 band in the range 4.1-3.7 $\mu$m (2450-2715 cm$^{-1}$). The wavenumbers of the $R$(0) transitions of the $v$=1-0 band are 2612.50135$\pm$0.00033 and 2610.70177$\pm$0.00042 cm$^{-1}$ ($\pm3\sigma$) for $^{36}$ArH$^{+}$ and $^{38}$ArH$^{+}$, respectively. The calculated opacity for a gas thermalized at a temperature of 100 K and a linewidth of 1 km.s$^{-1}$ of the $R$(0) line is $1.6\times10^{-15}\times N$($^{36}$ArH$^+$). For column densities of $^{36}$ArH$^+$ larger than $1\times 10^{13}$ cm$^{-2}$, significant absorption by the $R$(0) line can be expected against bright mid-IR sources.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 01/2014; 783(1). DOI:10.1088/2041-8205/783/1/L5 · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the first results from a spectroscopic survey of the [CII] 158um line from a sample of intermediate redshift (0.2<z<0.8) (ultra)-luminous infrared galaxies, (U)LIRGs (LIR>10^11.5 Lsun), using the SPIRE-Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) on board the Herschel Space Observatory. This is the first survey of [CII] emission, an important tracer of star-formation, at a redshift range where the star-formation rate density of the Universe increases rapidly. We detect strong [CII] 158um line emission from over 80% of the sample. We find that the [CII] line is luminous, in the range (0.8-4)x10^(-3) of the far-infrared continuum luminosity of our sources, and appears to arise from photodissociation regions on the surface of molecular clouds. The L[CII]/LIR ratio in our intermediate redshift (U)LIRGs is on average ~10 times larger than that of local ULIRGs. Furthermore, we find that the L[CII]/LIR and L[CII]/LCO(1-0) ratios in our sample are similar to those of local normal galaxies and high-z star-forming galaxies. ULIRGs at z~0.5 show many similarities to the properties of local normal and high-z star forming galaxies. Our findings strongly suggest that rapid evolution in the properties of the star forming regions of luminous infrared galaxies is likely to have occurred in the last 5 billion years.
    The Astrophysical Journal 01/2014; 781(1). DOI:10.1088/2041-8205/781/1/L15 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Emission from the Herschel telescope is the dominant source of radiation for the majority of SPIRE Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) observations, despite the exceptionally low emissivity of the primary and secondary mirrors. Accurate modelling and removal of the telescope contribution is, therefore, an important and challenging aspect of FTS calibration and data reduction pipeline. A dust-contaminated telescope model with time invariant mirror emissivity was adopted before the Herschel launch. However, measured FTS spectra show a clear evolution of the telescope contribution over the mission and strong need for a correction to the standard telescope model in order to reduce residual background (of up to 7 Jy) in the final data products. Systematic changes in observations of dark sky, taken over the course of the mission, provide a measure of the evolution between observed telescope emission and the telescope model. These dark sky observations have been used to derive a time dependent correction to the telescope emissivity that reduces the systematic error in the continuum of the final FTS spectra to ∼0.35 Jy.
    Experimental Astronomy 01/2014; 37(2). DOI:10.1007/s10686-013-9355-0 · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Herschel/SPIRE Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) observations contain emission from both the Herschel Telescope and the SPIRE Instrument itself, both of which are typically orders of magnitude greater than the emission from the astronomical source, and must be removed in order to recover the source spectrum. The effects of the Herschel Telescope and the SPIRE Instrument are removed during data reduction using relative spectral response calibration curves and emission models. We present the evolution of the methods used to derive the relative spectral response calibration curves for the SPIRE FTS. The relationship between the calibration curves and the ultimate sensitivity of calibrated SPIRE FTS data is discussed and the results from the derivation methods are compared. These comparisons show that the latest derivation methods result in calibration curves that impart a factor of between 2 and 100 less noise to the overall error budget, which results in calibrated spectra for individual observations whose noise is reduced by a factor of 2-3, with a gain in the overall spectral sensitivity of 23% and 21% for the two detector bands, respectively.
    Experimental Astronomy 01/2014; 37(2). DOI:10.1007/s10686-013-9364-z · 2.66 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
581.03 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • National Observatory of Athens
      Athínai, Attica, Greece
  • 2011–2014
    • University College London
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2004–2012
    • The Royal Observatory, Edinburgh
      Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 2010
    • Durham University
      Durham, England, United Kingdom
    • University of Leuven
      Louvain, Flanders, Belgium
  • 2008
    • Imperial College London
      • Department of Physics
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2006–2007
    • University of Lethbridge
      • Department of Physics
      Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
    • Observatoire de Paris
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2003
    • University of South Wales
      Понтиприте, Wales, United Kingdom
    • University of Oxford
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 1997–2003
    • University of London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2001
    • Institute for Advanced Study
      Princeton Junction, New Jersey, United States
  • 2000
    • Queen Mary, University of London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1999
    • University of Saskatchewan
      • Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies
      Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada