Paul Ruffle at Starry Night
Public Outreach Essays Spectra Movies S381 The Energetic Universe
Journal Papers Conference Proceedings Academic Talks Public Outreach PhD Thesis Xgear Observing/Reduction Courses
Open Quotes I am a visiting research fellow and SAGE-Spec research associate in the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at The University of Manchester. Prior to this I worked in the USA for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory as a support scientist on the Green Bank Telescope. My research interests include planetary nebulae and the chemistry of low metallicity environments such as molecular clouds in the extreme outer Galaxy. I am also interested in the role of dust in the interstellar medium and how it relates to the formation of molecular clouds and subsequent star formation. I am currently working on methods for analysing Spitzer-IRS spectroscopy from the SAGE-Spec legacy survey of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, in order that infrared sources may be classified and spectral energy distributions may be constructed for each sub-class of object. I am also investigating the different modes of star formation in the most distant low metallicity molecular cloud in the Milky Way, as well as developing Xgear for astrochemical modelling. I am also a collaborator on the JCMT Spectral Legacy Survey. Close Quotes Paul Ruffle
Journal Papers

EC2 paper

MNRAS353

The SAGE-SMC Spitzer Legacy program:
The life-cycle of dust and gas in the Small Magellanic Cloud. Point Source Classification

Paul M. E. Ruffle, M. L. Boyer, O. C. Jones, F. Kemper, K. E. Kraemer, E. Lagadec, I. McDonald, J. M. Oliveira, B. A. Sargent, G. C. Sloan, J. Th. van Loon, K. Volk, P. M. Woods and A. A. Zijlstra. In preparation, 2013. Abstract

Galactic Edge Clouds III:
Chemical Modelling of 2 Distinct Star Forming Regions in Edge Cloud 2

P. M. E. Ruffle, N. Kobayashi, T. J. Millar, H. Roberts, M. Saito and C. Yasui. In preparation, 2013.

Galactic Edge Clouds II:
Molecular Line Observations and Chemical Modelling of Edge Cloud 1

P. M. E. Ruffle, T. J. Millar, H. Roberts, C. Henkel and D. A. Lubowich. In preparation, 2013.

On the metallicity dependence of crystalline silicates in oxygen-rich asymptotic giant branch stars and red supergiants
O. C. Jones, F. Kemper, B. A. Sargent, I. McDonald, C. Gielen, P. M. Woods, G. C. Sloan, M. L. Boyer, A. A. Zijlstra, G. C. Clayton, K. E. Kraemer, S. Srinivasan and P. M. E. Ruffle.
MNRAS, 427, 3209, December 2012. ADS | Astro-ph | Abstract

Galactic Edge Clouds I:
Molecular Line Observations and Chemical Modelling of Edge Cloud 2

P. M. E. Ruffle, T. J. Millar, H. Roberts, D. A. Lubowich, C. Henkel, J. Pasachoff and G. Brammer.
ApJ, 671, 1766, December 2007. ADS | Astro-ph | Abstract

Angular diameters, fluxes and extinction of compact planetary nebulae: further evidence for steeper extinction towards the bulge
P. M. E. Ruffle, A. A. Zijlstra, J. R. Walsh, M. D. Gray, K. Gesicki, D. Minniti and F. Comeron.
MNRAS, 353, 796, September 2004. ADS | Astro-ph | Abstract


Conference Proceedings
and Posters

Magellanic Clouds Poster

Xgear Poster

Edge Cloud 2 Poster

Identification of Spitzer-IRS staring mode targets in the Magellanic Clouds
P. M. E. Ruffle , P. M. Woods and F. Kemper. The Spectral Energy Distribution of Galaxies, Proceedings of IAU Symposium 284, 163, 2012. ADS | Astro-ph | Abstract

The Xgear Project - A New Era for Astrochemical Modelling?
P. M. E. Ruffle, A. J. Markwick, T. J. Millar, H. Roberts and P. M. Woods. RAS National Astronomy Meeting, University of Glasgow, 12-16 April 2010. Abstract

Molecular Line Observations and Chemical Modelling of Galactic Edge Clouds
P. M. E. Ruffle, T. J. Millar, H. Roberts, D. A. Lubowich and C. Henkel. RAS National Astronomy Meeting, Queen's University Belfast, 31 March - 4 April 2008. Abstract

Molecular Line Observations and Chemical Modelling of Galactic Edge Clouds
P. M. E. Ruffle, T. J. Millar, H. Roberts, D. A. Lubowich and C. Henkel. Organic Matter in Space, Proceedings of IAU Symposium 251, 145, 2008. ADS | Abstract

Molecular Line Observations and Chemical Modelling of Edge Cloud 2
P. M. E. Ruffle, T. J. Millar, H. Roberts, D. A. Lubowich and C. Henkel. The Evolving ISM in the Milky Way and Nearby Galaxies, Proceedings of the Fourth Spitzer Science Center Conference, Pasadena, CA, 2-5 December 2007. ADS | Abstract

Observations and Chemical Modelling of Edge Cloud 2
P. M. E. Ruffle, T. J. Millar, H. Roberts, D. A. Lubowich, C. Henkel, J. M. Pasachoff and G. Brammer. Frontiers of Astrophysics: A Celebration of NRAO's 50th Anniversary, NRAO, Charlottesville, VA, 18-21 June 2007, ASP Proceedings of the Conference, 395, 377, 2008. ADS | Abstract

Metal-poor molecular gas beyond the optical disk of the Galaxy
P. M. E. Ruffle, T. J. Millar, H. Roberts, C. Henkel and D. A. Lubowich. Astrochemistry: Recent Successes and Current Challenges, Pacific Grove, California, 29 Aug - 2 Sept 2005, Proceedings of IAU Symposium 231, 28, 2005. ADS | Abstract

Metal-poor Molecular Gas in Edge Cloud 2
P. M. E. Ruffle, T. J. Millar, H. Roberts, D. A. Lubowich, C. Henkel, G. Brammer. RAS National Astronomy Meeting, Open University, Milton Keynes, 30 March - 2 April 2004. Abstract

Metal-poor Molecular Gas in Edge Cloud 2 (EC2)
P. M. E. Ruffle, T. J. Millar, H. Roberts, D. A. Lubowich, C. Henkel and G. Brammer. The dense interstellar medium in galaxies, Proceedings of the 4th Cologne-Bonn-Zermatt Symposium, Zermatt, Switzerland, 22-26 September 2003. Springer proceedings in physics, Vol. 91. Abstract

Planetary Nebulae in the Galactic Bulge
A. A. Zijlstra, P. M. E. Ruffle and K. Gesicki, Asymmetrical Planetary Nebulae III: Winds, Structure and the Thunderbird, ASP Conference Proceedings, 313, 40, 2004. ADS | Abstract

The Composition at the Outer Edge of the Galaxy
D. A. Lubowich, G. Brammer, H. Roberts, T. J. Millar, C. Henkel, J. Pasachoff and P. M. E. Ruffle. Elemental Abundances in Old Stars and Damped Lyman-α Systems, 25th meeting of the IAU, 13-26 July 2003, Sydney, Australia, Highlights of Astronomy, 13, 586, 2005. ADS | Abstract


Academic Talks

NAM 2012 Talk

EC2 Talk

... but it's fun ... Talk

PNe Talk

Stamp Collecting in the Magellanic Clouds
Open University Physics & Astronomy Society AGM, Milton Keynes, 2 March 2013. Abstract

Evolved carbon stars in the Magellanic Clouds:
Photometric versus spectroscopic IR identification

RAS National Astronomy Meeting, Manchester, 28 March 2012. Abstract

Identification of Spitzer-IRS staring mode targets in the Magellanic Clouds
Sun, Stars and Planets Science Day, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Macclesfield, 14 June 2012.
Leiden Observatory, Leiden, The Netherlands, 25 January 2012.

Observations and Chemical Modelling of Galactic Edge Clouds
Joint Astronomy Centre (JAC), Hilo, Hawaii, 16 October 2009.

Molecules Between the Stars: The Astrochemistry of the ISM
Chautauqua Short Course on Astronomy, NRAO, Green Bank, 4 June 2007.

But it's Fun: Radio Astronomy at Green Bank and the Green Bank Telescope
The University of Manchester Astrophysics Group Seminar, 10 May 2007.

Out at the Edge: Metal-poor Molecular Gas in Edge Cloud 2
National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan, 20 May 2008.
Nobeyama Radio Observatory (NRO), Minamimaki, Minamisaku, Nagano, Japan, 19 May 2008.
NRAO Molecular Astrophysics Group Meeting, Charlottesville, Virginia, 28 September 2007.
Astrophysical Chemistry Group Meeting, Queen's University Belfast, 5 January 2007.
Jodrell Bank Observatory (JBO) Seminar, Macclesfield, 15 November 2006.
The University of Manchester Astrophysics Group Seminar, 2 Nov 2006.
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), Green Bank, West Virginia, 21 September 2006.
Young European Radio Astronomer's Conference, Dalfsen, Netherlands, 13 September 2006.
The University of Manchester Astrophysics Group Seminar, 9 March 2006.
Open University Physics Society, Fusion AGM, Milton Keynes, 28 January 2006.
Jodrell Bank Observatory (JBO) Seminar, Macclesfield, 12 October 2005.
Young Researchers Astrochemistry Meeting, UCL, London, 19 Sept 2005.
Joint Astronomy Centre (JAC), Hilo, Hawaii, 8 June 2004.
UMIST Astrophysics Group Seminar, Manchester, 10 February 2004.
Astrophysical Chemistry Group Meeting, Nottingham, 17 December 2003.
Young Physicists' Conference (YPC), Bristol, 23 November 2003.

Angular diameters, fluxes and extinction of compact planetary nebulae: further evidence for steeper extinction towards the Bulge.
The University of Manchester Astrophysics Group Seminar, 19 Nov 2004.
Evolved Stars Workshop, Queen's University Belfast, 7 September 2004.


Public Outreach

How I Wonder What You Are Talk

Paul at BBC Radio  Lancashire

How I Wonder What You Are Talk

Matter Between the Stars: The Physics and Chemistry of the Interstellar Medium
Future
Bradford Astronomical Society, Eccleshill Library, Bolton Road, Bradford, 7:30pm, 16 June 2014.
Halifax Scientific Society, Halifax Central Library, Northgate, Halifax, 7:15pm, 10 June 2014.
South Cheshire Astronomical Society, South Cheshire College, Crewe, 7:00pm, 24 April 2014.
Harrogate Astronomical Society, Community Centre, Harlow Avenue, 7:30pm, 27 March 2014.
Past
Doncaster Astronomical Society, St George's House, Church Street, 7:30pm, 22 August 2013.
Nottingham Astronomical Society, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, 8:00pm, 4 July 2013.
Hebden Bridge Astronomy Society, Hope Baptist Church Rooms, 7:30pm, 12 December 2012.
Manchester Café Sci, Kro Bar, 325 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PG, 6:00pm, 27 July 2011.

How I Wonder What You Are: The Birth, Life and Death of Stars
Future
Cardiff Astronomical Society, Cardiff University, The Parade, Newport Road, 7:30pm, 20 Mar 2014.
Past
Highlands Astronomical Society, Smithton-Culloden Free Church, Scotland, 7:15pm, 6 Aug 2013.
Midgley Community Room, Town Gate, Midgley, Luddendenfoot, 7:30pm, 19 April 2013.
Derby Astronomical Society, Friend's Meeting House, St. Helen's Street, 7:30pm, 5 April 2013.
Cambridge Astronomical Assoc, Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, 8:00pm, 22 March 2013.
Knutsford SciBar, Knutsford Sports Club, Mereheath Lane, Knutsford, 7:30pm, 5 February 2013.
Macclesfield Astronomical Society, Goostrey Village Hall, Main Road, 8:00pm, 18 September 2012.
Doncaster Astronomical Society, St George's House, Church Street, 7:30pm, 9 August 2012.
Cleethorpes Astronomical Society, Montgomery Road, Cleethorpes, 7:30pm, 4 July 2012.
South Cheshire Astronomical Society, South Cheshire College, Crewe, 7:00pm, 31 May 2012.
Moulton School and Science College, Pound Lane, Moulton, Northants, 7:30pm, 19 April 2012.
Sherborne Girls School, Bradford Road, Sherborne, Dorset, 7:30pm, 9 February 2012.
Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), Castlefield, Manchester, 7:00pm, 27 January 2012.
Halifax Scientific Society, Halifax Central Library, Northgate, Halifax, 7:30pm, 10 January 2012.
West Didsbury Astronomical Society, William Hulme's Grammar School, 7:00pm, 12 Dec 2011.
Sheffield Astronomical Society, Mayfield Centre, David Lane, Fulwood, 7:45pm, 7 November 2011.
Unity College, Towneley Holmes, Burnley, Lancashire, 21 September 2011.
Leeds Café Sci, Leeds City Museum, Millennium Square, Leeds, 11:30am, 14 August 2011.
Wrexham Science Festival, Glyndŵr University, Mold Road, Wrexham, Wales, 6:00pm, 19 July 2011.
York Café Sci, The Basement, City Screen Picture House, 13-17 Coney Street, 7:30pm, 6 July 2011.
Staff Science Day, AstraZeneca, Physical Sciences Group, Macclesfield, 6 July 2011.
Leeds Astronomical Society, Friends House, 188 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, 7:30pm, 11 May 2011.
Knowledge Lives Everywhere Exhibition, FACT, 88 Wood Street, Liverpool, 7:00pm, 4 May 2011.
Schools in London, Leeds and Preston for National Science and Engineering Week, March 2011.
Brighton Café Sci, The Latest Music Bar, Manchester Street, Brighton, 8:00pm, 17 March 2011.
Bradford Astronomical Society, Eccleshill Library, Bolton Road, Bradford, 7:30pm, 7 February 2011.
Manchester Astronomical Society, John Dalton Building E0.05, MMU, 7:30pm, 13 January 2011.
Hebden Bridge Astronomy Society, Hope Baptist Church Rooms, 7:30pm, 15 December 2010.
Liverpool Café Sci, The Book Room, Hope Street Hotel, Liverpool, 7:30pm, 9 November 2010.
Headingley Café Sci, New Headingley Club, 56 St Michael's Road, Leeds, 7:45pm, 4 October 2010.
Sheffield Café Sci, The Showroom, Paternoster Row, Sheffield, 7:00pm, 6 September 2010.
Chapel Allerton Café Sci, Queens Arms, 201 Harrogate Road, Leeds, 8:00pm, 17 May 2010.
Halifax Café Sci, Viaduct Cafe, Dean Clough, Halifax, 7:30pm, 24 February 2010.
South East Essex College, Southend, Essex, 23 June 2009.
NRAO Summer School, Green Bank, West Virginia, USA, 19 June 2007.

Radio Appearances
BCB Radio, Afternoon Stretch with Alan Keeling and Tina Watkin, 3pm, 3 February 2011.
BBC Radio Lancashire, Sally Naden's Chat Show, 11-1pm, 13 January 2011.
Phoenix Radio, Sara Hinchliffe's Coffee Culture Show, 10-12pm, 15 December 2010.

Podcasts
The Birth, Life and Death of Stars via my podcasts or iTunes. RSS Feed

Videos
The Birth, Life and Death of Stars via YouTube. YouTube


PhD Thesis

Outflow in PNe He2-104
Outflow in PNe He2-104

CO 2-1 Map of EC2
CO 2-1 Map of EC2

My PhD thesis focused on the detected effects of dust grains in two dissimilar regions at opposite ends of the Milky Way: firstly in explaining anomalous extinction values towards the Galactic bulge through observations of PNe; and secondly in explaining the apparent photon-dominated regions (PDRs) observed in metal-poor molecular clouds at the Galactic edge.

In the first year of my PhD I worked with Albert Zijlstra and subsequently we published the paper "Angular diameters, fluxes and extinction of compact planetary nebulae: further evidence for steeper extinction towards the Bulge" (Ruffle et al. 2004). We suggested that for the inner Galaxy the low-density warm ionised medium is the site of the anomalous extinction, and that low values of extinction can also be derived using dust models with a turnover radius of 0.08 microns.

After that I worked with Tom Millar on the chemistry of Edge Cloud 2 (EC2), which lies at the largest Galactocentric distance known to exist (~28 kpc). Our detections in this source indicated that heavy elements are depleted by about a factor of five relative to local molecular clouds and similar to those in dwarf irregular galaxies and damped Lyman alpha systems. These reduced abundances may be related to the low level of star formation in this region and are probably the result of infall of halo gas enriched in O, C and S from a burst of massive star formation in the Galactic halo shortly after the Milky Way was formed. Observed high abundances of the radicals C2H and CN are typical of PDRs, but at large Galactocentric radii, metal abundances relative to hydrogen are expected to be much reduced. In addition, although EC2 does contain young stars, there is no evidence of the late-type stars which produce dust grains, thereby justifying the assumption of a high ratio of UV flux to grain surface area (see Ruffle et al. 2007).


Xgear Astrochemical Modelling
Astrochemical Modelling
Developing Xgear which started life as the desire for a wrapper programme written in C that could collect parameters for running astrochemical models using derivatives of the HMC (hot molecular core) NEWGEAR Fortran code initially developed by Tom Millar and collaborators in the early 1980s, and as further developed by Helen Roberts from 1998. The HMC code utilises DLSODE: the Double precision Livermore Solver for Ordinary Differential Equations (Hindmarsh 1983; Radhakrishnan and Hindmarsh 1993).

The goal of the Xgear Project is to enable astrochemical models to be run easily and consistently, with full user control over the many parameters that must be specified to run a model. These parameters can be defined on the command line and/or in a plain text configuration file. More details.


Observing and Data Reduction

PMR at JCMT

Analysing Spitzer-IRS spectroscopy so that IR sources may be classified and SEDs may be constructed for each sub-class of object observed.

Validating the ORAC-DR data reduction pipeline for the JCMT Spectral Legacy Survey. See my notes for running the ORAC-DR pipeline off-line, i.e. on your own system as opposed to one of the JAC's computers.

Data reduction with IDL, CASA, KAPPA/SMURF, MIDAS, CLASS/GREG and MOPSIC. I have written a comprehensive CLASS pipeline script for automating the reduction of mm spectral line data (including maps) and the generation of tables and figures in LaTeX format.

I have made successful applications for telescope time at the GBT 100m, NRO 45m, JCMT 15m, Effelsberg 100m, Onsala 20m and IRAM 30m telescopes.

Radio mm line and continuum observations (including bolometer mapping) at the GBT 100m (West Virginia), NRO 45m (Nobeyama), JCMT 15m (Hawaii), IRAM 30m (Spain), Onsala 20m (Sweden), ARO 12m (Arizona) and Haystack 37m (Massachusetts) telescopes.

As a result of attending the Single Dish IRAM Summer School I was invited to undertake pool observations at the IRAM 30m telescope in December 2003 and October 2005.

Optical observations using narrow-band filters with the ESO Multi-Mode Instrument (EMMI) camera at the 3.5m New Technology Telescope (NTT) at La Silla, Chile.


Courses and Workshops

PMR at IRAM

CASA Workshop and Tutorial
UK ALMA Regional Centre, JBCA, University of Manchester, 31 March - 1 April 2010.

Fourth IRAM Millimetre Interferometry School 2004
IRAM, Grenoble, France, 22-27 November 2004.

UK Grad School
Otterburn Hall, Northumberland, 22-26 July 2004.

Single Dish Millimetre Observing Techniques and Applications
IRAM Summer School, Pradollano, Sierra Nevada, Spain, 4-9 October 2003.

PPARC Astrophysics Summer School
Leeds University, 2-6 September 2002.

Home > Astronomy > Return to Top