Name: Bessell, Michael S. Professor
Qualifications: BSc Hons1 UTas 1964; PhD ANU 1968.
Current employment: RSAA, ANU, 1969; Professor, 1998.
Relevant employment history:
Senior Fellow ANU 1978, Associate Director RSAA, ANU, 1994.
Post-doc at Yerkes Observatory, USA, 1967-69.
Short-term visiting positions at KPNO, USA; Landesternwarte Heidelberg, Germany; Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, France; Canterbury University, NZ; SAAO, Capetown, SA;
Six significant publications from last 5 years:
- Bessell, M.S., Castelli, F., Plez, B., 1998, A&A 333, 231. Model Atmosphere Broad-Band Colors, Bolometric Corrections and Temperature Calibrations for O-M Stars. .
- Keller, Stefan C., Bessell, M. S., Da Costa, G. S., 2000, AJ, 119, 1748. Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 Imaging of Young Clusters in the Magellanic Clouds.
- Bessell, Michael S., 2000, PASP, 112, 961. The Hipparcos and Tycho Photometric System Passbands
- Keller, Stefan C., Da Costa, G. S., Bessell, M.S., 2001, AJ, 121, 905. Young Clusters in the Magellanic Clouds. II.
- Zuckerman, B., Song, Inseok, Bessell, M. S., Webb, R. A., 2001, ApJ, 562, L87. The Beta Pictoris Moving Group.
- Christlieb, N.; Bessell, M. S.; Gustafsson, B.; Korn, A.; Barklem, P. S.; Karisson, T.; Mizuno-Wiedner, M.; Rossi, S. A stellar relic from the early Milky Way 2002 Natur, 419, 904
Four additional career best publications:
- Wood, P.R., Bessell, M.S., Fox, M.W., 1983, ApJ 272, 99-115. Long-period variables in the Magellanic Clouds: Supergiants, AGB stars, supernova precursors, and enrichment of the interstellar medium.
- Bessell, M.S., Brett, J.M., Scholz, M., Wood, P.R., 1988, A&A, 213, 209-225. The effects of atmospheric extension upon the spectra of M-type Mira variables.
- Bessell, M.S., 1991, AJ, 101, 662-676. The Late-M Dwarfs.
- Bessell, M.S., Sutherland, R.S., Ruan, K., 1991, ApJ, 383, l71-74. The Oxygen Abundance of Halo Stars.
Two book chapters (Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics) 2001
Thirty three refereed research publications 1998-2002.
Fourteen research papers in conference proceedings 1998-2002.
Professor Mike Bessell is a recognised world expert in stellar spectroscopy and photometry. He has specialized in observational aspects of stellar evolution and in providing temperature calibrations and bolometric corrections for many kinds of stars.
He has long worked with echelle spectrographs to measure the precise abundances of elements. His understanding of stellar photometry and photometric systems is extensive and he is currently writing a review of standard photometry for Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics. He has also been involved in astronomical instrumentation for many years, most recently as associate director for instrument development at the RSAA. He built and installed (with Harvey Butcher the echelle spectrograph at the 74 inch telescope and has been responsible for the CCD program at the RSAA for 10 years.
Some highlights of his scientific research are
- Demonstrating that the primaries of some bright X-ray binaries were genuine massive supergiants overfilling their Roche lobes (with Wickramasinghe).
- Identifying the "missing" cool metal-deficient dwarfs (with Wickramasinghe).
- Discovery of the lowest metal abundance stars CD -38 245, [Fe/H]=-4 in 1984 (with Norris) and HES0107-5240 [Fe/H]=-5, in 2001 (with Christlieb).
- Deriving accurate abundances for the first time for metal-rich globular cluster red giant stars and Magellanic Cloud supergiants (with Russell).
- Deriving oxygen abundances for the first time in extremely metal-deficient halo stars using the ultra-violet OH lines.
- Delineation of the red carbon stars as asymptotic giant branch stars undergoing dredge-up, the discovery for the first time of AGB stars with core masses up to the supernovae limit and the discovery of more massive AGB stars converting carbon into nitrogen (with Wood).
- Providing passbands and absolute calibrations for the standard UBVRIJHKL system and other related photometric systems.
- Specifying the spectral properties and calibrating the temperatures of the late-M dwarfs.
- Providing extended model atmospheres, theoretical colors and temperatures for mira variables (with Brett, Scholz and Wood)
- Providing theoretical color-temperature and temperature-bolometric corrections for B to M stars from model atmospheres (with Castelli and Plez). Demonstrating that the primaries of some bright X-ray binaries were genuine massive supergiants overfilling their Roche lobes (with Wickramasinghe).
- In 2001 Professor Mike Bessell was named as one of Australia Citation Laureates by ISI, awarded to Australiaís 33 most highly cited Scientists across all disciplines for papers published between 1981 and 1998. He has remained the highest cited astronomer at the RSAA for the past 10 years.
- Bessellís 1979 paper (PASP, 91, 589-607), not included in he above award, was named an ISI Citation Classic in 1989. In total, he has published more than 144 refereed papers, and has presented 32 invited reviews.
- Bessell served as the Astronomical Society of Australiaís President from 1997-2000, as well as its secretary from 1979-1984. He was made a life member last year.
- Bessell served as the Vice President (1991-94) and President (1995-97) of the International Astronomical Commission 29, and helped organise a number of this organisationís international symposia.
- Bessell has served on the board of editors of two journals, the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (1985-1992), and the Publication of the Astronomical Society of Australia (1997-2000).