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Accretion Physics in Compact Binaries

The study of accretion onto compact stellar remnants (white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes) is one of the key areas in stellar astrophysics at UCT. It includes the study of Cataclysmic Variables, low-mass X-ray binaries and high-mass X-ray binaries. Researchers in this group lead the MeerKAT Large Survey Project on image-domain radio transients (ThunderKAT) and co-lead the MeerLICHT project for optical-radio transients.

Image credit: ESO/P.A. Woudt (The expanding nova shell of V445 Pup)

A/Prof Patrick Woudt (Deputy Head of Department)
Dr Vanessa McBride (joint UCT/SAAO)
Prof Brian Warner (Emeritus Distinguished Professor, senior scholar)

Affiliated Staff:
Prof Rob Fender (SKA Visiting Professor at UCT) - based at the University of Oxford (UK)
Prof Phil Charles (Honorary Professor at UCT) - based at the University of Southampton (UK)

Postdoctoral fellows:
Dr Richard Armstrong (SKA postdoc)
Dr Tana Joseph (SKA postdoc)
Dr Matthew Schurch (Claude Leon postdoc)
Dr Lee Townsend (Claude Leon postdoc)

Postgraduate students:
Mr Hannes Breytenbach (PhD, joint UCT/SAAO)
Mrs Deanne Coppejans (PhD at Radboud University (NL), PG affiliate at UCT)
Mr Avishek Dusoye (MSc)
Mr John Egan (PhD)
Ms Sally Macfarlane (PhD at Radboud University (NL), PG affiliate at UCT)
Mr Itumeleng Monageng (PhD, joint UCT/SAAO)
Ms Mokhine Motsoaledi (PhD, joint UCT/SAAO)
Mr Willice Obonyo (NASSP MSc)

Selected recent papers by the group:
- A return to strong radio flaring by Circinus X-1 observed with the Karoo Array Telescope test array KAT-7, Armstrong, Fender, Nicolson, Ratcliffe, Linares, Horrell, Richter, Schurch, Coriat, Woudt, Jonas, Booth, Fanaroff
- High-speed photometry of faint cataclysmic variables - VIII. Targets from the Catalina Real-Time Transient Survey, Coppejans, D.L., Woudt, Warner, Körding, Macfarlane, Schurch, Kotze, Breytenbach, Gulbis, Coppejans, R
- Discovering a 5.72-d period in the supergiant fast X-ray transient AX J1845.0-0433, Goossens, Bird, Drave, Bazzano, Hill, McBride, Sguera, Sidoli
- Optical Morphology, Inclination, and Expansion Velocity of the Ejected Shell of Nova Monocerotis 2012, Ribeiro, Munari, Valisa