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Nick Wright
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I'm a research astrophysicist at Keele University in the UK. My professional website is here: http://www.star.herts.ac.uk/~nwright/
I'm a research astrophysicist at Keele University in the UK. My professional website is here: http://www.star.herts.ac.uk/~nwright/

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The largest optical telescope in the world
When building astronomical telescopes bigger is often better. And this means that there's often a race to build the next big telescope that will push our view of the Universe further and deeper. But before we obsess about the next big thing, lets take a mom...

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What's wrong with globular clusters?
Globular clusters are amongst the oldest and most massive  star clusters in the Universe. Their size and luminosity means that not only can we study the approximately 150 globular clusters in our own galaxy (the Milky Way) in quite a lot of detail, but we c...

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Rehearsals aren't just for the theatre
We all know that actors rehearse, but did you know that telescopes rehearse as well? Large telescopes and surveys often rehearse the process of choosing targets, observing, and analysing the data so that they can be well prepared for the real thing. Its a p...

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How to make a star cluster
In my last two posts I've been discussing how stars are distributed at the time they're born. This is an important question because many of our theories for how stars form suggest that their environment can play a crucial role in how they accrete material. ...

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What sort of environment do stars form in?
Last week we talked about the initial spatial distribution of young stars and how their distribution follows that of the dense gas in molecular clouds. But we also know that stars form in groups with a wide variety of sizes and densities, which astronomers ...

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Star formation, filaments, and the initial distribution of young stars
I've talked before  about molecular clouds, the birthplaces of stars , but only in very general terms. Today I want to go a little deeper to look at how stars are distributed within molecular clouds when they form, and how this can lead to the formation of ...

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Gaia's first data release is here!
Last wednesday the Gaia satellite made its first major data release, exactly 1000 days after the satellite was launched back in 2013. Gaia's view of 1 billion stars in the Milky Way (the strange arcs across the image are due to the way Gaia scans across the...
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