Andrew Fraser Gillan - Student Profile
Andrew Fraser Gillan (He/Him)
Current research project
Spectroscopy and Photometry of Active Comets
There are two main parts to my research:
Primarily, my research focuses on using the ATLAS (Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System) data to monitor Jupiter-Family comets activity before and after perihelion to investigate their evolution and dust production rates throughout their orbit. Looking at a whole family of comets (from 2020 onward) using the same data set allows for consistency when directly comparing between any measurements taken.
Secondly, my research focuses on specifically monitoring comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it approaches perihelion also looking at the dust production rates at different distances from the Sun and attributing these different rates to the physical processes behind them.
I completed my BSc in Astrophysics at the University of Central Lancashire from 2015 - 2019 where my undergraduate project focused on calculating the orbits and properties of Near-Earth asteroids using data from the MHT at the Alston Observatory.
After the completion of the BSc, I wished to further study small Solar System bodies which led to the completion of my MSc(Res) in Astrophysics also at the University of Central Lancashire from 2019 - 2020. This work focused on the design and implementation of an automatic detection system to search for Solar System objects in data from NASA's STEREO mission.
After the completion of my Masters, wishing to further pursue small Solar System objects, I started my PhD at Queens's University Belfast in October 2021.
Small Solar System objects (comets and asteroids)