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  • Professor Chris Collins, Dr Ian McCarthy and Dr Ivan Baldry

    eROSITA is a German/Russian satellite mission due to be launched in early 2016 which will carry out an all-sky survey at Xray wavelengths and detected thousands of clusters. As part of the SDSS-IV survey, ARI will have unique access to this data set through the SDSS-IV project SPIDERS (see, which will provide ground-based spectroscopy for clusters over most of the northern hemisphere. Student participation in SDSS-IV is unlimited and this project provides a timely opportunity for a PhD student to exploit the first data stream from a major international satellite project. Scientific priorities for a subset of the detected clusters will include: (i) evolution of the cluster luminosity function, (ii) the evolution of the brightest cluster galaxies and the intra-cluster light, (ii) the spatial distribution of clusters and evidence for giant voids in the matter density distribution. The student will work primarily with Chris Collins (SDSS-IV member) as part of an international team that makes up the SPIDERS consortium, but the project will be ring fenced so as to ensure exclusivity of the PhD. There will be ample opportunities to travel to collaborative meetings in US and Europe as well as UK.

    Integral to the SPIDERS project is a strong contingency. This involves taking redshifts of the brightest clusters from the CODEX cluster survey from July 2014 until launch, in case of delay to the satellite launch date or in the unlikely event of mission failure. There are currently 250 spectroscopic redshifts for CODEX clusters and this will rise to more than 1000 at the start of the proposed PhD in October 2015, ensuring that their is enough data on distant clusters to complete the PhD.