Prof Andrew blain

Date: Saturday 16th November | Time: 3.30pm – 4.30pm

Prof Andrew Blain


Professor of Observational Astronomy University of Leicester


I’m from Liverpool and studied and worked in Cambridge, before spending a decade in California and moving to Leicester in 2010. I was also a science team member on the NASA Wide Field Infrared Space Explorer (WISE) mission that was launched in 2009, and I’ve been involved in the time allocation process for several ground-based millimeter-far-infrared telescopes, the JCMT, IRAM and ALMA. I was chair of the ALMA Science Advisory Committee in 2010, and the UK Oversight Board for the SKA project.

I am interested in the formation and evolution of galaxies, especially from an infrared perspective, probing the interstellar medium to account for the complete luminosity of galaxies. This involves using a range of optical through radio observing facilities, both from the ground and in space. I also have an interest in the use and details of gravitational lensing, again focused mainly on its effects on infrared sources. My prime interest at present is investigating the nature of the ultra luminous galaxies that have been discovered over the whole sky using the WISE mission, and the opportunities for extremely high-quality and sensitive imaging using the ALMA telescope, in Northern Chile.

Lecture synopsis

WISE detects remarkable galaxy specimens for ALMA to dissect?

I will describe the results of the galaxy searches using the WISE infrared satellite from 2010, which include THE most powerful galaxies in the Universe, and the efforts to identify and study their properties and nature.
In the process we have found examples that could include the most ferociously feeding blackholes of all time, in the process of setting the future appearance of their host galaxies.


Below  Atacama  Large Millimeter  submillimeter Arrray  “ALMA”  Chile, credit ESO.