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Heidi Thiemann

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Professional biography

The SuperWASP all-sky survey is the most successful ground-based search for transiting exoplanets, having discovered more than 150 hot Jupiters. Not only has it discovered numerous exoplanets, but it has also produced an archive of more than 30 million high cadence light curves. Approximately 1 million such light curves have detectable photometric periodicities on time-scales from hours to years. Previous work has utilised this archive to investigate stellar evolution, with a focus on eclipsing binaries and stellar multiplicity.
An initial cross-correlation by Norton et al (2006) of SuperWASP observations and ROSAT X-ray sources identified numerous new periodic variable stars. Following in their footsteps, I have focused on the cross-correlation of a new period search of the SuperWASP archive, containing ~ 1.3 million objects, with the new data release of the XMM X-ray catalogue, containing ~ 0.5 million unique objects. I have used the result of this new catalogue to characterise the rotation-activity relation for SuperWASP and ASAS-SN field stars.
In a serendipitous discovery, we identified ~30 candidate near-contact red giant eclipsing binary stars, a configuration not previously known. We have conducted a campaign of photometric and spectroscopic follow-up to characterise these candidate binaries, and I am now working on modelling these systems to understand the merger timescales of such binaries.

Research interests

Astronomy, astrophysics, stellar formation and evolution.


SuperWASP Variable Stars: Classifying Light Curves Using Citizen Science (2021-03)
Thiemann, Heidi B.; Norton, Andrew J.; Dickinson, Hugh J.; McMaster, Adam and Kolb, Ulrich C.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 502(1) (pp. 1299-1311)

Satellite Constellation Internet Affordability and Need (2020-10-27)
Rawls, Meredith L.; Thiemann, Heidi B.; Chemin, Victor; Walkowicz, Lucianne; Peel, Mike W. and Grange, Yan G.
Research Notes of the AAS, 4, Article 189(10)

The stellar rotation–activity relation for a sample of SuperWASP and ASAS-SN field stars (2020)
Thiemann, Heidi B.; Norton, Andrew J. and Kolb, Ulrich C.
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 37, Article e042

Red Giant Binary Stars: A new discovery? (2020)
Thiemann, Adelheid
The Open University