A New Look at an Old Mystery: the Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs)

Supervisor: Dr. Jan Cami

Project Description (Abstract):

The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are a set of hundreds of mysterious absorption lines that show up in observations of almost any star whose starlight is attenuated by intervening interstellar material -- in any direction in the Milky Way as well as in other galaxies. They are probably caused by an abundant family of large, carbonaceous and stable molecules, but we do not yet know which ones. For this project, you will become a team member of an international consortium (EDIBLES) and work with the largest and most comprehensive set of DIB observations ever obtained (with the Very Large Telescope). You will use new and modern data processing and machine learning techniques to learn more about the properties of the absorbing molecules and bring us closer to a solution to the DIB problem.