The ISM Project


Massive stars are the main drivers of galaxy evolution throughout the history of the universe. Their winds and radiation form beautiful ionised nebulae such as the nearby Orion and Eagle Nebulae, and the more distant (but much larger) Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The energy input from these processes can evaporate and tear apart the dense molecular clouds that the stars are born in.

At the end of their lives, massive stars explode as supernovae, injecting huge quantities of chemically enriched gas into the interstellar medium (ISM) at velocities up to a tenth of the speed of light, creating a giant blast wave which can affect a region hundreds of light years across before it dissipates.

The stellar physics group is working on modelling these important processes in the ISM. This page describes our project and some of the results we have obtained.

Tarantula Nebula

Part of Cygnus Loop supernova remnant