Astrophysics

I've just finished my PhD at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, and now I'm a machine learning research associate in radio astronomy. Feel free to drop any astro questions to alex.clarke-3 with the official manchester academic domain ending.

During my PhD I've used radio telescopes to observe galaxies and clusters. I use python every day and much of my work involves "big data" projects.

I've also been heavily involved in the production of the Multifrequency Snapshot Sky Survey (MSSS). You can read all of the papers I've been involved in below:

My LOFAR observations of Abell 1682


We found a new giant radio galaxy which I wrote a paper about, click below if you'd like some light reading :)


We discovered a spiral DRAGN! What is that?! It's a spiral galaxy (C) that is producing jets of material (A & B) originating from its supermassive black hole. Click to read about it!


We looked at the Perseus cluster at low radio wavelengths to research the correlation between radio power and X-ray power that we see in galaxy clusters.

Below is the spectacular galaxy cluster Abell 1132.

The background is optical, blue is X-ray emission, and red is radio emission from LOFAR at 150 MHz. This is believed to be two galaxy clusters that are merging, giving rise to a wide range of emission across multiple wavelengths! You can read our paper about it by clicking the image.


This is another merging galaxy cluster - Background image is an RGB optical image from HST. Cyan denotes the total mass distribution traced by lensing (dominated by the dark matter). Purple denotes the baryonic mass distribution (dominated by the ICM plasma). Red denotes the diffuse radio emission at 325 MHz. Click to read our paper about it :)

The super clever people working with LOFAR are developing advanced calibration algorithms so that we can produce some of the most ground-breaking astrophysical images to date: