UCL Astrophysics Group

Prof Ian Howarth

Prof Ian Howarth

Emeritus Professor of Astronomy

Dept of Physics & Astronomy

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Oct 1981

Research summary

My postgraduate studies were under the supervision of the late Professor Sir Robert Wilson.  My PhD topic was UV spectroscopy of X-ray binaries, which led to my continuing interest in galactic astrophysics in general, and quantitative spectroscopy of luminous stars in particular.

Given how aggressively web pages date, it's dangerous to say what I'm "currently" involved in; suffice it to say that I've contributed to a number of research-council committees, and have played a major part in the scientific direction of the Royal Astronomical Society as Senior Secretary and as Vice-President.  My real motivation, however, comes from addressing the scientific puzzles that are the bread and butter business of a journeyman research astronomer.   Recent work has included investigations into magnetic fields in O stars, and studies of very rapidly rotating stars, both for their intrinsic interest and as hosts of transiting exoplanets.   As a retiree, I spend more and more time to less and less effect studying these topics.


University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1982
University College London
First Degree, Bachelor of Science | 1977