Dr. Ray Butler

BE, PH.D

Contact Details

Lecturer Bar/College Lecturer
School of Physics
Arts/Science Building
NUI Galway

T: Ext. 3788
E: ray.butler@nuigalway.ie
 
researcher

Biography

My first engagement in "serious" research was a 1991 summer internship at the National Physical Laboratory, UK, where I developed hardware and software related to fundamental Electrical Standards determination.

Since 1992, I have worked in observational astronomy and imaging research.
I worked on high-resolution imaging and photometry of the cores of globular star clusters for my PhD in the Dept. of Physics, UCG/NUIG, in the Astronomy & Applied Imaging Research Group led by Drs. Mike Redfern and Andy Shearer. This included research visits to Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK in 1996 and TRACS (Training and Research on Advanced Computer Systems) at Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre, UK in 1996-97. I also spent a significant portion of my PhD years helping with the group's optical pulsars/GRBs research programme.

I was then awarded a personal Marie-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship [Category 30] to develop the parallelisation of deconvolution algorithms for globular star cluster analysis, in particular for Hubble Space Telescope (HST) studies, at the University of Edinburgh, UK (1997 - 1999).

On returning to Ireland, I was a postdoc in the Dept. of IT, NUIG, working with Dr. Shearer
(again) and Dr. Aaron Golden on optical imaging studies of pulsars and supernova remnants (1999-2001). I was then awarded a second personal Marie-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship [Category R]  to develop applications of astronomical optical deconvolution techniques to medical imaging and space-based gamma-ray imaging (2001).

A few months into this, in late 2001, I was presented with a choice: to accept either a 2-year
Enterprise Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship award, or a 3-year contract lectureship in the Dept. of Physics, NUIG, targeted in particular at developing and presenting material to support the newly established BSc (Physics & Astronomy) degree, as well as other Physics modules and labs. I opted for the latter and became a member of the Astronomy research cluster with the department.

The success of the
Physics & Astronomy degree in securing a large, high calibre intake through this period led to two permanent "Lecturer below the bar" positions being offered to Physics, and I was fortunate to successfully compete for one of these, taking up the position in 2004. Promotion to "Lecturer above the bar" followed in 2008.

I have supervised a number of excellent MSc and PhD students, under IRCSET, SFI RFP, NUI, and College of Science funding, as well as several students with summer internships - never forgetting that it all started for me with that summer internship in London in '91. Our research highlights include the development of the GUFI instrument (Galway Ultra Fast Imager), its installation at the VATT telescope in Arizona, and its use in the study of optical variabilty in cool dwarf stars; but few things can top co-authoring a Nature paper in 2015, on the discovery of auroral emission from brown dwarfs.

I have taken on increasingly important leadership roles within the School, such as Director of the BSc Physics with Astrophysics, member of the School Executive, and Chair of the LTA Committee which oversees all undergraduate teaching, curriculum, assessment and accreditation matters. Leading the process for getting all our degrees accredited by the Institute of Physics was a teaching/admin highlight of 2015. 









Research Interests

I specialize in astronomical imaging and software technologies:
  • Data-reduction pipeline development, principally using PyRAF and IRAF
  • Deconvolution methods, especially for HST images
  • Image simulation using realistic instrumental and astrophysical inputs
  • Crowded-field photometry and astrometry
  • Multi-wavelength astrometry for counterpart detection
  • Imaging Photon-counter characterization and usage, including MAMA and L3-CCD detectors
  • Applications of high cadence imaging and spectroscopy to variability studies, and to post-exposure image sharpening/lucky imaging
  • Exposure Time Calculator development for imaging instruments, with full T(lambda) propagation
  • Design of custom filters for wide-field spectrophotometry.

These methods are applied in the study of various objects, principally:
  • Globular star cluster populations
  • Variable stars, from cluster RR Lyrae types to nearby ultra-cool dwarfs
  • Optical pulsars & associated supernova remnants.
Measurement of regional night sky quality is a new research direction.

I have secured Research Grant funding of over €813,000 since 1997, as an independent researcher and supervisor.

Research Projects

  Project Start Date End Date
OPTICAL VARIABILITY IN ULTRACOOL DWARF STARS 01-JUL-15 30-JUN-19
GENERAL ACCOUNT RAY BUTLER 12-JUN-12 01-JUN-22
PROBING THE EXISTENCE OF BLACK HOLES IN GLOBULAR S 01-SEP-08 30-JUN-13
MF2004 MF77 04 M DR RAYMOND BUTLER 01-NOV-04 31-JUL-12
IRCSET RS 04 75 CAOILFHIONN LANE R BUTLER 01-OCT-04 30-APR-09
IRCSET RS 04 142 BRENDAN SHEEHAN R BUTLER 01-OCT-04 30-APR-09
IRCSET KIERAN FORDE RAY BUTLER 15-OCT-02 11-FEB-09
MF 2001 CARBON AND NITROGEN ABUNDANCES RAY BUTLER 15-MAR-02 29-NOV-04

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
(2015) 'Magnetospherically driven optical and radio aurorae at the end of the stellar main sequence'
Hallinan, G,Littlefair, SP,Cotter, G,Bourke, S,Harding, LK,Pineda, JS,Butler, RP,Golden, A,Basri, G,Doyle, JG,Kao, MM,Berdyugina, SV,Kuznetsov, A,Rupen, MP,Antonova, A (2015) 'Magnetospherically driven optical and radio aurorae at the end of the stellar main sequence'. Nature, 523 [DOI] [Details]
(2013) 'Parallel astronomical data processing with Python: Recipes for multicore machines'
Singh, N,Browne, LM,Butler, R (2013) 'Parallel astronomical data processing with Python: Recipes for multicore machines'. Astronomy And Computing, 2 :1-10 [DOI] [Details]
(2013) 'Spin-orbit alignment in the very low mass binary regime. The L dwarf tight binary 2MASSW J0746425+200032AB'
L. K. Harding, G. Hallinan, Q. M. Konopacky, K. M. Kratter, R. P. Boyle, R. F. Butler, A. Golden (2013) 'Spin-orbit alignment in the very low mass binary regime. The L dwarf tight binary 2MASSW J0746425+200032AB'. Astronomy & Astrophysics, [Details]
(2013) 'Periodic Optical Variability of Radio Detected Ultracool Dwarfs'
Harding L.K., Hallinan G., Boyle R. P., Golden A., Singh N., Sheehan B., Zavala R., Butler R. F. (2013) 'Periodic Optical Variability of Radio Detected Ultracool Dwarfs'. The Astrophysical Journal, [Details]
(2007) 'Rotational modulation of M/L dwarfs due to magnetic spots'
Lane, C,Hallinan, G,Zavala, RT,Butler, RF,Boyle, RP,Bourke, S,Antonova, A,Doyle, JG,Vrba, FJ,Golden, A (2007) 'Rotational modulation of M/L dwarfs due to magnetic spots'. Astrophysical Journal, 668 :163-166 [Details]
(2005) 'A MERLIN observation of PSR B1951+32 and its associated plerion'
Golden, A,Bourke, S,Clyne, G,Butler, RF,Shearer, A,Muxlow, TWB,Brisken, WF (2005) 'A MERLIN observation of PSR B1951+32 and its associated plerion'. Astrophysical Journal, 635 :153-156 [Details]
(2003) 'TRIFFID observations of the cores of the three globular clusters M15, M92 and NGC 6712'
Tuairisg, SO,Butler, RF,Shearer, A,Redfern, RM,Butler, D,Penny, A (2003) 'TRIFFID observations of the cores of the three globular clusters M15, M92 and NGC 6712'. Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society, 345 :960-980 [Details]
(2002) 'Detection of new optical counterpart candidates to PSR B1951+32 with HST/WFPC2'
Butler, RF,Golden, A,Shearer, A (2002) 'Detection of new optical counterpart candidates to PSR B1951+32 with HST/WFPC2'. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 395 :845-851 [DOI] [Details]
(2001) 'A search for the optical counterpart to PSR B1821-24 in M 28'
Golden, A,Butler, RF,Shearer, A (2001) 'A search for the optical counterpart to PSR B1821-24 in M 28'. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 371 :198-204 [Details]
(2000) 'Rapid Photometry of Supernova 1987A: A 2.14 ms Pulsar?'
Middleditch,J., Kristian, J. A., Kunkel, W. E., Hill, K. M., Watson, R. D., Lucinio, R., Imamura, J. N., Steiman- Cameron, T. Y., Shearer, A., Butler, R., Redfern, M., Danks, A. C. (2000) 'Rapid Photometry of Supernova 1987A: A 2.14 ms Pulsar?'. New Astronomy, 5 (243) [Details]
(1999) 'Investigation of Gamma-Ray Burst light curves in different spectral ranges by means of gravitational lensing'
Beskin, GM,Shearer, A,Redfern, M,Golden, A,Butler, R,Bartolini, C,Guarnieri, A,Masetti, N,Piccioni, A (1999) 'Investigation of Gamma-Ray Burst light curves in different spectral ranges by means of gravitational lensing'. Nuclear Physics B-Proceedings Supplements, 69 :703-706 [Details]
(1998) 'Possible pulsed optical emission from Geminga'
Shearer A., Golden A., Harfst S., Butler R., Redfern R. M., O'Sullivan,C. M. M., Beskin,G. M., Neizvestny,S. I., Neustroev, V. V., Plokhotnichenko, V. L., Cullum M., Danks A. (1998) 'Possible pulsed optical emission from Geminga'. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 335 [Details]
(1998) 'TRIFFID photometry of globular cluster cores - I. Photometric techniques and variable stars in M15'
Butler, RE,Shearer, A,Redfern, RM,Colhoun, M,O'Kane, P,Penny, AJ,Morris, PW,Griffiths, WK,Cullum, M (1998) 'TRIFFID photometry of globular cluster cores - I. Photometric techniques and variable stars in M15'. Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society, 296 :379-391 [Details]
(1997) 'Pulsed Optical Emission from PSR 0656+14'
Shearer, A., Redfern, R. M., Gorman,G., Butler, R., Golden, A., O'Kane, P., Beskin, G. M., Neizvestny, S. I., Neustroev, V. V., Plokhotnichenko, V.L., Cullum, M. (1997) 'Pulsed Optical Emission from PSR 0656+14'. Astrophysical Journal, 487 [Details]
(1996) 'A search for the optical counterpart of the triple pulsar system PSR B1620-26 in M4'
Shearer, A,Butler, R,Redfern, RM,Cullum, M,Danks, AC (1996) 'A search for the optical counterpart of the triple pulsar system PSR B1620-26 in M4'. Astrophysical Journal, 473 [Details]
(1994) 'The Position of PSR-0540-69'
SHEARER, A,REDFERN, M,PEDERSEN, H,ROWOLD, T,OKANE, P,BUTLER, R,OBYRNE, C,CULLUM, M (1994) 'The Position of PSR-0540-69'. Astrophysical Journal, 423 :51-53 [Details]

Book Chapters

  Year Publication
(1997) 'High Angular Resolution Astrophysics'
Butler,R., Shearer,A., Redfern,M. (1997) 'High Angular Resolution Astrophysics' In: [ARAN Link] [Details]

Conference Publications

  Year Publication
(2013) Reading the book of Globular Clusters with the lens of Stellar Evolution
Navtej Singh, Lisa-Marie Browne, Ray Butler (2013) Proper Motions in Globular Clusters using Deconvolution of HST Images . In: Paolo Ventura and Corinne Charbonnel eds. Reading the book of Globular Clusters with the lens of Stellar Evolution Rome, Italy, , 26-DEC-12 - 28-DEC-12 [Details]
(2012) ASP Conference Series, Vol. 448: 16th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun
Harding, L. K.; Hallinan, G.; Boyle, R. P.; Butler, R. F.; Sheehan, B.; Golden, A. (2012) A Search for Periodic Optical Variability in Radio Detected Ultracool Dwarfs: A Consequence of a Magnetically-Driven Auroral Process? . In: Christopher M. Johns-Krull, Matthew K. Browning, and Andrew A. West eds. ASP Conference Series, Vol. 448: 16th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, , 28-AUG-10 - 02-SEP-10 [Details]
(2011) American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #218, #326.12; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society
Boyle, Richard P.; Harding, L. K.; Hallinan, G.; Butler, R. F.; Golden, A. (2011) An Investigation into the Periodic Optical Variability of Radio Detected Ultracool Dwarfs using the GUFI Photometer American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #218, #326.12; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society [Details]
(2008) AIP Conf Proc High Time Resolution Astrophysics: The Universe at Sub-Second Timescales
Harding, L. K., Butler, R. F., Redfern, R. M., Sheehan, B. J., McDonald, J. (2008) Optimised Post-Exposure Image Sharpening Code for L3-CCD Detectors . In: eds D Phelan, O Ryan, A Shearer eds. AIP Conf Proc High Time Resolution Astrophysics: The Universe at Sub-Second Timescales , 01-JAN-08 , pp.235-240 [Details]
(2008) AIP Conf Proc High Time Resolution Astrophysics: The Universe at Sub-Second Timescales
Butler,R. F., Sheehan, B. J. (2008) The superiority of L3-CCDs in the high-flux and wide dynamic range regimes . In: eds D Phelan, O Ryan, A Shearer eds. AIP Conf Proc High Time Resolution Astrophysics: The Universe at Sub-Second Timescales , 01-JAN-08 , pp.168-177 [Details]
(2008) AIP Conf Proc High Time Resolution Astrophysics: The Universe at Sub-Second Timescales
Sheehan,B. J., Butler, R. F. (2008) Development and use of an L3CCD high-cadence imaging system for Optical Astronomy . In: eds D Phelan, O Ryan, A Shearer eds. AIP Conf Proc High Time Resolution Astrophysics: The Universe at Sub-Second Timescales , 01-JAN-08 , pp.162-167 [Details]
(2006) Proc SPIE Vol 6265, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter
Sheehan,B. J., Lane, C., Butler, R. F. (2006) Performance modeling and development of an L3-CCD camera system for high cadence imaging with maximum efficiency . In: eds J C Mather, H A MacEwen, M W M de Graauw, pp 62654 eds. Proc SPIE Vol 6265, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter , 01-JAN-06 [Details]
(2006) ASP Conf Series 351 Proc ADASS XV
Sheehan,B., Lane, C., Butler, R. (2006) An Exposure Time Calculator and Image Simulation Suite for any Ground-based Telescope & Camera . In: Gabriel,C.;Arbiset,C.;Ponz,D.;Solano,E eds. ASP Conf Series 351 Proc ADASS XV , 01-JAN-06 [Details]
(2005) Proc SPIE Opto-Ireland 2005: Imaging & Vision
Forde,K., Butler,R. F., Peat, D., Golden, A., O'Tuairisg S. (2005) Spectrophotometry: imaging with custom narrow-band filters and an automated data-reduction pipeline . In: Murtagh,F.D eds. Proc SPIE Opto-Ireland 2005: Imaging & Vision , 01-JAN-05 [Details]
(2005) 9th IMVIP (2005) Conference
Sheehan B., Lane, C., Butler, R. (2005) An Exposure Time Calculator and Image Simulation Suite for any Ground-based Telescope & Camera 9th IMVIP (2005) Conference Belfast, UK, , 01-AUG-05 [Details]
(2004) ASP Conf Series 314, Proc ADASS XIII
Voisin B., Micol, A., O'Tuairisg, S., Butler, R., Golden, A., Shearer, A. (2004) Using a Reversed Exposure-time Calculator for querying uncalibrated archives . In: Ochsenbein,F.;Allen,G eds. ASP Conf Series 314, Proc ADASS XIII , 01-JAN-04 [Details]
(2004) Proc SPIE Optimizing Scientific Return for Astronomy through Information Technologies
Butler,R. F., Forde K. (2004) Data reduction and analysis pipelines: the simple approach for the xFOSC family of instruments . In: Quinn,P.J.;Bridger,A eds. Proc SPIE Optimizing Scientific Return for Astronomy through Information Technologies , 01-JAN-04 [Details]
(2004) Proc SPIE Vol 5493, Optimizing Scientific Return for Astronomy through Information Technologies
O'Tuairisg,S., Golden, A., Butler, R., Shearer, A., Voisin, B. (2004) A pipeline for automatically processing and analyzing archival images from multiple instruments . In: Quinn,P.J.;Bridger,A eds. Proc SPIE Vol 5493, Optimizing Scientific Return for Astronomy through Information Technologies , 01-JAN-04 [Details]
(2004) ASP Conf Series 314, Proc ADASS XIII
Butler,R. (2004) An IRAF-based data reduction and analysis pipeline for the xFOSC family of instruments . In: Ochsenbein,F.; Allen,G eds. ASP Conf Series 314, Proc ADASS XIII , 01-JAN-04 [Details]
(2004) ASP Conf Series 314, Proc ADASS XIII
O'Tuairisg,S., Butler, R., Golden, A., Shearer, A., Voisin, B., Micol, A. (2004) Automated image reduction and analysis of images from multiple data archives . In: Ochsenbein,F.;Allen,G eds. ASP Conf Series 314, Proc ADASS XIII , 01-JAN-04 [Details]
(2004) Proc SPIE Optimizing Scientific Return for Astronomy through Information, eds p 294
Voisin, B., Micol, A., O'Tuairisg, S., Golden, A., Butler, R., Shearer, A. (2004) Simulating instruments for mining uncalibrated archives . In: Quinn,P.J.; Bridger,A eds. Proc SPIE Optimizing Scientific Return for Astronomy through Information, eds p 294 , 01-JAN-04 [Details]
(2003) Proc SPIE Opto-Ireland
Buckton D., Ryan, O., Shearer,A., Redfern, R., Butler, R. F. (2003) Modular camera system for high time resolution photometry . In: Glynn,T.J eds. Proc SPIE Opto-Ireland [Details]
(2003) Proc SPIE Opto-Ireland 2002: Optical Metrology, Imaging, and Machine Vision
Charalabides, S., Shearer, A., Butler, R. (2003) Application of deconvolution to images from the EGRET gamma- ray telescope . In: Shearer, A.;Murtagh,F.;Mahon, J.;Whelan, P.; eds. Proc SPIE Opto-Ireland 2002: Optical Metrology, Imaging, and Machine Vision [Details]
(2003) Proc 7th IMVIP (2003) Conference
O'Tuairisg, S., Butler, R., Golden A., Voisin, B., Shearer,A. (2003) An automated image processing and analysis pipeline for the ASTROVIRTEL Virtual Observatory prototype . In: Morrow,P.J.; Scotney,B.W eds. Proc 7th IMVIP (2003) Conference [Details]
(2003) ASP Conf Series Proc New Horizons in Globular Cluster Astronomy
O'Tuairisg,S., Butler, R., Shearer, A., Redfern, R. (2003) A new survey of variability in the core of M15 with TRIFFID-2' . In: Piotto,G.;Meylan, G.;Djorgovski,S.G.;Rielllo,M eds. ASP Conf Series Proc New Horizons in Globular Cluster Astronomy [Details]
(2003) ASP Conf Series Proc New Horizons in Globular Cluster Astronomy
Peat, D., Butler, R. (2003) A Photometric Method for estimating CNO Abundances in Globular Clusters' . In: Piotto, G.;Meylan,G.;Djorgovski,S.G.;Rielllo,M eds. ASP Conf Series Proc New Horizons in Globular Cluster Astronomy [Details]
(2003) Proc SPIE Opto-Ireland 2002: Optical Metrology, Imaging, and Machine Vision
Butler,R., O'Tuairisg, S., Shearer, A., Golden, A. (2003) Image PSF-matching and subtraction: a powerful astronomical technique and its application to industrial imaging' . In: Shearer,A.; Murtagh,F.;Mahon, J.;Whelan,P eds. Proc SPIE Opto-Ireland 2002: Optical Metrology, Imaging, and Machine Vision [Details]
(2002) MPE-Report 278, Proc 270 WE-Heraeus Seminar on Neutron Stars, Pulsars and Supernova Remnants
Butler R. F., Golden, A., Shearer, A., Gouiffes, C. (2002) PSR B1951+32 and PSR J0537-6910 - where are the optical counterparts? . In: Becker, W.;Lesch,H.;Truemper,J eds. MPE-Report 278, Proc 270 WE-Heraeus Seminar on Neutron Stars, Pulsars and Supernova Remnants , pp.54-57 [Details]
(2002) ASP Conf Series Neutron Stars in Supernova Remnants
Golden A., Butler,R. F.,Shearer,A. (2002) Characterising the optical counterpart to PSR B1951+32 in CTB80 . In: Slane, B.; Gaensler eds. ASP Conf Series Neutron Stars in Supernova Remnants , pp.61-65 [Details]
(2001) ESA SP-496, First European Workshop in Exo-/astro-biology
Golden,A., Shearer, A., Browne, J., Butler, R., Penny, A.,Knuth, J. (2001) A Virtual Laboratory Model for Coordinating Future Astrobiological Research . In: Ehrenfreund, Angerer, Battrick eds. ESA SP-496, First European Workshop in Exo-/astro-biology , pp.341-344 [Details]
(2001) ASP Conf Series, Proc ADASS X
Butler, R. F., Golden A., Shearer, A. (2001) Deconvolution of drizzled and rotated HST/WFPC2 images: Faint- object photometry in crowded fields . In: Primini.; Harnden.; Payne eds. ASP Conf Series, Proc ADASS X , pp.431-434 [Details]
(2001) Proc Parallel & Distributed Processing Techniques & Applications
Gorman G., Wilson,N., Butler,R., Shearer,A. (2001) Massively Parallel Image Restoration with Spatially Variant Point-Spread-Function Proc Parallel & Distributed Processing Techniques & Applications [Details]
(2001) Amer Inst Phys, Proc 20th Texas Symp, Relativistic Astrophysics
Shearer,A., Golden, A., O'Connor, P., Butler, R. (2001) Isolated neutron stars - Optical non-thermal phenomenology Amer Inst Phys, Proc 20th Texas Symp, Relativistic Astrophysics [Details]
(2000) ASP Conf Series, Proc ADASS IX
Butler,R. F. (2000) Deconvolution as a tool for improved crowded-field photometry with HST . In: Crabtree,D.;Manset,N.;Veillet,C eds. ASP Conf Series, Proc ADASS IX [Details]
(2000) Proc 35th Liège Int Astroph Coll, The Galactic Halo: From Globular Clusters to Field Stars
Butler,R. F. (2000) HST photometry of dense Globular Cluster fields: the advantages of deconvolution . In: Iben,I. et al eds. Proc 35th Liège Int Astroph Coll, The Galactic Halo: From Globular Clusters to Field Stars [Details]
(2000) SN1987A: Ten Years After, The Fifth CTIO/ESO/LCO Workshop, ASP Conference Series
Middleditch, J.; Kristian, J. A.; Kunkel, W. E.; Hill, K. M.; Watson, R. M.; Luicio, R.; Imamura, J. N.; Steiman-Cameron, T. Y.; Shearer, A.; Redfern, M.; Butler, R.; Danks, A. C (2000) A  2.14 ms Candidate Optical Pulsar in SN1987A . In: M.M. Phillips and N.B. Suntzeff eds. SN1987A: Ten Years After, The Fifth CTIO/ESO/LCO Workshop, ASP Conference Series La Serena, Chile, , 22-FEB-97 - 28-FEB-97 [Details]
(1998) Proc 'Active X-ray Sky symposium' (Reprinted from Nuclear Physics B (Proc Suppl), 69/1-3)
Beskin,G. M., Shearer, A., Redfern, M., Golden, A., Butler, R., Bartolini, C., Guarnieri, A., Masetti, N., Piccioni A. (1998) Investigation of Gamma-Ray Burst Light Curves in Different Spectral Ranges by Means of Gravitational Lensing . In: Scarsi,L.;Bradt,H.;Giommi, P.;Fiore, F eds. Proc 'Active X-ray Sky symposium' (Reprinted from Nuclear Physics B (Proc Suppl), 69/1-3) [Details]
(1998) Amer Inst Phys Proc428, Gamma-Ray Bursts: 4th Huntsville Symposium
Beskin,G. M., Shearer, A., Redfern,M., Golden, A., Butler,R., Bartolini C., Guarnieri A., Masetti N., Piccioni A. (1998) Single Black Holes as Parent Bodies of Galactic and Extragalactic Gamma-Ray Bursts . In: Meegan,C.A.;Preece, R.D.;Koshut,T.M eds. Amer Inst Phys Proc428, Gamma-Ray Bursts: 4th Huntsville Symposium [Details]
(1997) NATO Advanced Study Institute on High Angular Resolution in Astrophysics (1996 : Les Houches, Haute-Savoie, France)
Butler,R., Shearer, A.,Redfern, R. M., Penny, A. J., Cullum, M. (1997) Combined HST and HAR imaging and photometry of Eruptive Binaries in Globular Cluster cores . In: Lagrange,A.M.;Mourard,D.;Lena,P eds. NATO Advanced Study Institute on High Angular Resolution in Astrophysics (1996 : Les Houches, Haute-Savoie, France) [Details]
(1997) IAU Symp 188, The Hot Universe
Shearer,A., Redfern,R. M., Butler, R., Golden,A., O'Kane, P., Colhoun, M. (1997) Observations of Isolated Pulsars Using the TRIFFID Camera IAU Symp 188, The Hot Universe [Details]

Other Journals

  Year Publication
(1996) 'Crowded Field Photometry of M15 Using the TRIFFID Camera'
Butler, R. F.,Shearer, J. A. L.,Redfern, R. M. (1996) 'Crowded Field Photometry of M15 Using the TRIFFID Camera' Irish Astronomical Journal, 23 . [Details]
(1993) 'TRIFFID Imaging of 47 Tuc on the NTT'
Redfern,M., Shearer, A.,O'Kane, P., Cullum M., O'Byrne, C., Butler, R., Jordan, B. (1993) 'TRIFFID Imaging of 47 Tuc on the NTT' ESO Messenger, 72 (29) . [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
(2014) Irish National Astronomy Meeting (INAM:2014),
Ray Butler, Chris Watson, Brian Espey, Eamon Scullion (2014) First 3-day Irish National (all-island) astronomy meeting, under the auspices of the ASGI (Astronomical Science Group of Ireland). As Secretary/Treasurer of the ASGI, I was one of a 4-person organizing committee, with responsibility for budgeting, student travel grants, speaker expenses, contact lists, emails and announcements, and joint general decision making. [Conference Organising Committee Member], Irish National Astronomy Meeting (INAM:2014), Trinity College Dublin , 13-AUG-14 - 15-AUG-14. [Details]
(2013) ASGI Meeting 2013,
Ray Butler, Chris Watson, Brian Espey (2013) 1-day annual meeting of the ASGI (Astronomical Science Group of Ireland). As Secretary/Treasurer of the ASGI, I was one of a 3-person organizing committee, with responsibility for budgeting, speaker & student expenses, contact lists, emails and announcements, and joint general decision making. [Conference Organising Committee Member], ASGI Meeting 2013, Trinity College, Dublin , 07-JUN-13 - 07-JUN-13. [Details]
(2012) Joint Meeting of the Astronomical Science Group of Ireland, and the Royal Irish Academy National Committee for Astronomy & Space Science,
Ray Butler, Peter Gallagher (2012) I was the principle organizer for the co-location of the Autumn meetings of these two national bodies. [Program co-chair], Joint Meeting of the Astronomical Science Group of Ireland, and the Royal Irish Academy National Committee for Astronomy & Space Science, Galway, Ireland , 09-NOV-12 - 09-NOV-12. [Details]

Article

  Year Publication
(1999) TRACS strengthens further European links. StarTrac.
Inglis,C. (1999) TRACS strengthens further European links. StarTrac. Article [Details]
(1994) From star gazing to plane spotting. Technology Ireland.
Redfern,R. M., Shearer,A., Butler, R. (1994) From star gazing to plane spotting. Technology Ireland. Article [Details]

Conference Poster

  Year Publication
(2010) Colour composite images of M15 globular star cluster in our Milky Way galaxy, SFI Research Summit 2010.
Navtej Singh, Ray Butler (2010) Colour composite images of M15 globular star cluster in our Milky Way galaxy, SFI Research Summit 2010. Conference Poster [Details]
(2010) Deconvolution of HST/ACS Drizzled Globular Cluster Images, MODEST-10 (Modelling Dense Stellar Systems 2010).
Navtej Singh, Ray Butler (2010) Deconvolution of HST/ACS Drizzled Globular Cluster Images, MODEST-10 (Modelling Dense Stellar Systems 2010). Conference Poster [Details]
(2009) HST and AO search for Black Holes in Globular Star Clusters, ASGI Meeting, NUI Galway.
Ray Butler, Navtej Singh (2009) HST and AO search for Black Holes in Globular Star Clusters, ASGI Meeting, NUI Galway. Conference Poster [Details]
(2005) Simulating an Observational System for a Globular Cluster Exoplanet Search. 3rd Annual IRCSET Symposium.
Lane,C., Butler, R. F. (2005) Simulating an Observational System for a Globular Cluster Exoplanet Search. 3rd Annual IRCSET Symposium. Dublin, Ireland: Conference Poster [Details]
(2005) Simulating an Observational System for a Globular Cluster Exoplanet Search. Osaka Summer School on Extrasolar Planets.
Lane,C., Sheehan, B., Butler, R. F. (2005) Simulating an Observational System for a Globular Cluster Exoplanet Search. Osaka Summer School on Extrasolar Planets. Osaka, Japan: Conference Poster [Details]
(2005) Development and use of an L3-CCD image-sharpening Camera for Extra-solar Planet Detection. 3rd Annual IRCSET Symposium.
Sheehan,B., Butler, R. F. (2005) Development and use of an L3-CCD image-sharpening Camera for Extra-solar Planet Detection. 3rd Annual IRCSET Symposium. Dublin, Ireland: Conference Poster [Details]
(2004) Chemical Abundance Variations in Galactic Globular Clusters: Automated Data Reduction. 2nd Annual IRCSET Symposium.
Forde,K., Butler, R. F., Peat, D. (2004) Chemical Abundance Variations in Galactic Globular Clusters: Automated Data Reduction. 2nd Annual IRCSET Symposium. Dublin, Ireland: Conference Poster [Details]
(2003) The Origin of C & N Abundance Variations in Globular Clusters M71 and M92. 1st Annual IRCSET Symposium.
Forde,K., Butler, R. F., Peat, D. (2003) The Origin of C & N Abundance Variations in Globular Clusters M71 and M92. 1st Annual IRCSET Symposium. Dublin, Ireland: Conference Poster [Details]
(2000) The 101 Uses of Globular Star Clusters, Enterprise Ireland Exhibition of Irish Science & Technology.
Butler,R. F. (2000) The 101 Uses of Globular Star Clusters, Enterprise Ireland Exhibition of Irish Science & Technology. Dublin, Ireland: Conference Poster [Details]
(1998) Variable-star searches in Globular Clusters by means of Image-registration and PSF-equalisation'. 10th Canary Island Winter School of Astrophysics on Globular Clusters IAC.
Butler,R. F. (1998) Variable-star searches in Globular Clusters by means of Image-registration and PSF-equalisation'. 10th Canary Island Winter School of Astrophysics on Globular Clusters IAC. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain: Conference Poster [Details]
(1993) High-resolution imaging of the core of 47 Tuc. ASGI Conference, Armagh Observatory.
Butler,R.F., Shearer,A.,Redfern, R.M. (1993) High-resolution imaging of the core of 47 Tuc. ASGI Conference, Armagh Observatory. Northern Ireland: Conference Poster [Details]

Other Item

  Year Publication
(1999) TRACS strengthens further European links. EPCC News.
Inglis,C. (1999) TRACS strengthens further European links. EPCC News. Other Item [Details]
(1996) PSR0656+14. IAU Circular 6502, 1.
Shearer,A., Redfern, R. M., Gorman, G., Butler, R., O'Kane, P., Golden, A., Beskin G., Neizvestny S., Neustroev V., Plokhotnichenko V., Cullum M. (1996) PSR0656+14. IAU Circular 6502, 1. Other Item [Details]
(1994) PSR 0540-693. IAU Circular 5786.
Shearer A., Redfern M., Rowold T., Pedersen H., O'Kane P., Butler R. O'Byrne C. (1994) PSR 0540-693. IAU Circular 5786. Other Item [Details]

Non Published Reports

  Year Publication
(2003) TMR Marie Curie Research Training Grant: Development of advanced Deconvolution techniques for Astronomical and Medical Imaging: Final Scientific Report. European Commission Research Directorates General.
Butler,R. F., Shearer, A. (2003) TMR Marie Curie Research Training Grant: Development of advanced Deconvolution techniques for Astronomical and Medical Imaging: Final Scientific Report. European Commission Research Directorates General. Non Published Reports [Details]

Research Seminar

  Year Publication
(1997) Parallelisation of codes for Crowded-field Photometry in Globular Cluster cores. TRACS Seminar series.
Butler,R. F., Heggie, D. C. (1997) Parallelisation of codes for Crowded-field Photometry in Globular Cluster cores. TRACS Seminar series. University of Edinburgh, UK: Research Seminar [Details]

Technical Publication

  Year Publication
(1996) Rapid Photometry of Supernova 1987A: A Gravity Wave Pulsar?. Los Alamos Tech Report LAUR.
Middleditch, J., Kristian, J. A., Kunkel, W. E., Sasseen, T. P., Pennypacker, C. R., Perlmutter, S., Lucinio, R., Imamura, J. N., Steiman-Cameron, T. Y., Fazio, G. G., Ransom, S. M., Eikenberry, S. S., Shearer, A., Butler, R., Redfern, M. (1996) Rapid Photometry of Supernova 1987A: A Gravity Wave Pulsar?. Los Alamos Tech Report LAUR. Technical Publication [Details]

Workshops

  Year Publication
(2002) Astronomical data mining, grid computing, and image pipeline-processing research in NUI, Galway. COST-283 i-Astro Workshop, European Commission.
Butler,R.F., Golden,A., Shearer, A. (2002) Astronomical data mining, grid computing, and image pipeline-processing research in NUI, Galway. COST-283 i-Astro Workshop, European Commission. Brussels, Belgium: Workshops [Details]
(2002) Long Term Optical Variability of Catalogued Ultra Cool Dwarfs with ASTROVIRTEL: Technical Issues. 1st ASTROVIRTEL Meeting,ESO, Garching.
Butler,R.F. (2002) Long Term Optical Variability of Catalogued Ultra Cool Dwarfs with ASTROVIRTEL: Technical Issues. 1st ASTROVIRTEL Meeting,ESO, Garching. Germany: Workshops [Details]
(2002) Virtual Observatories & Grid Computing - the Irish connection. IAHPC Conference.
Butler,R. F., Shearer A., Golden, A. (2002) Virtual Observatories & Grid Computing - the Irish connection. IAHPC Conference. UCD, Dublin, Ireland: Workshops [Details]
(2002) A new photometric method to investigate CN abundance variations in globular clusters. ASGI Conference.
Butler,R. F., Peat, D. (2002) A new photometric method to investigate CN abundance variations in globular clusters. ASGI Conference. NUI, Galway, Ireland: Workshops [Details]
(2001) Imaging and Photometry with the 2D photon-counting detectors in TRIFFID, 1st Galway Workshop on High Time Resolution Astrophysics.
Butler,R. F. (2001) Imaging and Photometry with the 2D photon-counting detectors in TRIFFID, 1st Galway Workshop on High Time Resolution Astrophysics. Workshops [Details]
(2000) A search for the Optical Counterpart to PSR 1821-24 in M28. ASGI Conference, QUB.
Butler,R. F., Golden, A., Shearer, A. (2000) A search for the Optical Counterpart to PSR 1821-24 in M28. ASGI Conference, QUB. Belfast, UK: Workshops [Details]
(1998) Towards better Hubble Space Telescope photometry of dense Star Clusters. 2nd Annual EPCC/TRACS User Group Meeting on High Performance Computing in Europe.
Butler,R. F. (1998) Towards better Hubble Space Telescope photometry of dense Star Clusters. 2nd Annual EPCC/TRACS User Group Meeting on High Performance Computing in Europe. Edinburgh, UK: Workshops [Details]
(1997) High Time Resolution Optical Imaging using the TRIFFID 2-d Photometer & Astrometry of HST images of GRB 970228. Elba Workshop on Latest results on Gamma-Ray Bursters.
Golden,A., Butler, R. F. (1997) High Time Resolution Optical Imaging using the TRIFFID 2-d Photometer & Astrometry of HST images of GRB 970228. Elba Workshop on Latest results on Gamma-Ray Bursters. Elba, Italy: Workshops [Details]
(1995) Data being analysed: Observations of Globular Clusters & Analysis Problems: Image Calibration and Crowded-field photometry. TRIFFID Collaboration Workshop,Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.
Butler,R.F., Shearer, A., Redfern, R. M. (1995) Data being analysed: Observations of Globular Clusters & Analysis Problems: Image Calibration and Crowded-field photometry. TRIFFID Collaboration Workshop,Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Oxfordshire, UK: Workshops [Details]
(1995) TRIFFID observation of Globular Clusters. ASGI Conference.
Butler,R.F., Redfern, R. M., Shearer, A. (1995) TRIFFID observation of Globular Clusters. ASGI Conference. NUI, Galway, Ireland: Workshops [Details]
(1994) Imaging at high spatial and temporal resolutions and crowded-field photometry. EADN VII Summer School on Plasma Astrophysics.
Butler, R.F., Shearer, A., Redfern, R. M. (1994) Imaging at high spatial and temporal resolutions and crowded-field photometry. EADN VII Summer School on Plasma Astrophysics. San Miniato, Tuscany, Italy: Workshops [Details]

Honours and Awards

  Year Title Awarding Body
2001 Enterprise Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship Enterprise Ireland
2000 FP5 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship European Commission
1997 FP4 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship European Commission
1992 Postgraduate Fellowship University College Galway
1988 University Entrance Scholarship University College Cork

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
Royal Irish Academy - Physical Sciences Panel ASGI alternate representative 01-SEP-14 /
Marie Curie Fellowships Association Member 01-NOV-97 /
Irish Society for High Performance Computing National Committee Member (NUIG representative) 01-APR-01 / 01-APR-03
International Astronomical Union Member 26-JUL-03 /
Institute of Physics IoPI National Committee member (NUIG representative) 01-APR-05 / 01-APR-08
SPIE [International Society for Optical Engineering] Member 27-MAY-04 / 26-MAY-05
Astronomical Science Group of Ireland Secretary/Treasurer 18-APR-12 / 31-JAN-16
Royal Irish Academy - National Committee for Astronomy and Space Science NUIGrepresentative 09-APR-09 / 01-MAR-14

Committees

  Committee Function From / To
“LoNNe: Loss of the Night Network” (ESSEM COST Action ES1204) Management Committee, alternate Irish member 01-MAY-15 /
Juno Committee Member 19-NOV-13 /
College of Science Learning, Teaching and Assessment Committee Physics rep 22-OCT-13 /
Physics Executive Committee Member (as Chair of LTA Committee) 04-SEP-13 /
Physics Seminar Group Member 01-SEP-13 /
College of Science Research Committee Physics alternate rep 01-SEP-11 / 01-SEP-13
College of Science Graduate Studies Committee Physics rep 21-DEC-10 / 26-MAY-11
College of Science Student Advisory Scheme Convenor 10-MAY-10 /
Physics Learning, Teaching and Assessment Committee Member from 2009; Chair from 2013 09-SEP-09 /
Physics Research and Graduate Education Committee Member 18-MAR-09 / 18-MAY-11
Physics Health & Safety Committee Member 11-FEB-09 / 24-MAY-12
College of Science Research and Graduate Education Committee Physics rep 21-OCT-08 / 23-NOV-10
Denominated Degree board - BSc Computing Studies Physics rep 26-OCT-07 / 22-FEB-08
Centre for Astronomy, NUIG Secretary 08-DEC-06 / 24-APR-09
Physics Graduate Research Committees Assessor 25-OCT-06 /
Denominated Degree board - BSc Physics and Astronomy / Physics with Astrophysics Secretary (2005-2009); Chair (2009-2012) 25-OCT-05 / 12-SEP-12
“i-Astro: Computational and Information Infrastructure in Astronomical Grid” (European Commission, COST Action 283 Management Committee, Irish member 03-OCT-01 / 01-JUN-03

Community Engagement

  Title Type From / To
Outreach Maintainer of NUIG Physics' Facebook page 01-APR-14 / 01-APR-20
Outreach Tyndall Lecture & Tours 01-JAN-06 / 29-FEB-08
Teaching (e.g. Service learning / comunity based learning) "Introduction to Astronomy" Evening Course 01-OCT-10 /
Advocacy The Case for Ireland to join ESO & The Case for Basic Research Funding 01-JAN-05 /
Outreach Astronomy Open Nights /
Other Winner, Capture Your Campus photo competition, Societies Category; 2015 NUIG Calendar photo 23-JAN-14 / 11-SEP-14

Reviews

  Journal Role
Astrophysical Journal Reviewer
Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society Reviewer
Astronomical Journal Reviewer
Astronomy & Astrophysics Reviewer
Advances In Astronomy Reviewer

Other Activities

  Description

Assessor for: * The Undergraduate Awards programme (UA) * NUIG Science studentships * INAM conference prizes * International Astronomical Union membership applications

Chair of Conference Sessions: * SPIE “Opto Ireland” Symposium (2002) * ASGI Meetings (2005, 2012) * Irish National Astronomy Meetings (2014, 2015)

Provision of Research Facilities: PI of the GUFI instrument (Galway Ultra Fast Imager) stationed since 2009 on the 1.8m VATT telescope, at Mount Graham International Observatory, Arizona.

Organisation of Conferences: * Member of Organizing Committee of 2001 1st Galway Workshop on High Time Resolution Astrophysics * Sole local organiser of 2012 ASGI Autumn meeting in Galway * Member of Organizing Committee of 2013 ASGI meeting in Dublin * Main organiser (with ASGI chair) of the first two Irish National Astronomy Meetings: INAM 2014 (Dublin), INAM 2015 (Belfast)

• External Examinerships: DIT (PhD Transfer, 2013); UCD (MSc by research, 2013); CIT (PhD, 2014); UCC (MSc by research, 2015) • Internal Examinerships: NUIG (PhD, 2016); NUIG (MSc by research, 2016) • Viva Chair: NUIG (PhD, 2015)

Telescope Observing Time Awards: * P.I. on 9 occasions, on 2.5m (La Palma) and 1.5m (Italy) telescopes * Co-I. on 8m Gemini North (Hawaii), 8m ESO VLT (Chile), VLA radio array (USA), Arecibo radio observatory (Puerto Rico), 2m Liverpool Telescope (La Palma), 1.5m TCS (Tenerife), and 1.8m VATT (USA)

Access to Research Facilities: Successful proposals to access ASTROVIRTEL (Garching, Germany - prototype for the European Astrophysical Virtual Observatory), and TRACS (Edinburgh).

Teaching Interests

Previous Teaching Roles:
  • Physics Examinations "whitesheets czar" (2006-15)
Current Teaching Roles:
  • Chair of the Physics LTA [Learning, Teaching & Assessment] Committee (2013-)
  • Director of the BSc in Physics with Astrophysics (2009-)
  • Coordinator of Second Year Physics (2015-)
  • Director of Physics Second Year Labs (2013-)
  • Director of Astronomy Fourth Year Labs (2009-)
As Chair of the Physics LTA committee, and representative to the College of Science committee of the same name, I am concerned with the smooth delivery of our teaching programme, its accreditation to international standards, and its constant updating to reflect internal reorganization as well as to avail of new opportunities in improved efficiency, more effective pedagogical delivery, or enhanced reach.

For example, I am currently working with colleagues in Chemistry to draw up a new Undenominated Science pathway, effectively a Joint Honours degree in Physics & Chemistry.

Leading the process for getting all our degrees accredited by the Institute of Physics was a highlight of 2015.

I am the NUIG representative in a new (2016) Institute of Physics UK & Ireland initiative,known as ECUIP (Expanding Conceptual Understanding in Physics). This ambitious programme aims to explore and improve the reality of students' real understanding of what they have been taught; to get under the skin of ineffective teaching and learning techniques which result in students reporting for example that "I can describe it superficially, and I can use the equations to solve some problems about it, but I can't really explain what it is" - or worse, that they believe they can explain it, but are unaware that they actually harbour misconceptions about it.

In my own teaching, the dominant theme of my lecture modules and labs is experimental/observational approaches to Physics in general and Astronomy in particular:
  • I am Coordinator of 2nd Year Physics and Director of 2nd Year Physics Labs (the two roles are independent), where we aim to train all 2nd years in the rigours of conducting and reporting on pre-defined experiments.
  • All Physics cohorts in 3rd year also take my PH336 Signal Analysis module.
  • Practical astronomy techniques are addressed in PH223 Observational Astronomy and the mainly lab-based PH363 Astronomical Data Analysis, which form a 2nd+3rd Year pair, capped by the 3rd Year (Easter) annual field trip to Loiano Observatory in Italy.
  • Further astronomy labs in 4th year build on this, with more extended and challenging observational & data analysis projects, using our campus Imbusch Observatory.








Recent Postgraduate Students

  Graduation Name Degree Primary Supervisor
2006 John Chambers Msc Y
2013 Navtej Singh PhD Y
2008 Caoilfhionn Lane PhD
2008 Brendan Sheehan PhD Y
2008 Leon Harding Msc Y
2012 Leon Harding PhD Y

Current Postgraduate Students (Research)

  Student Degree Type Type
Lisa-Marie Browne Doctorate - Structured PhD (Science) Supervisor
Karol Fitzgerald Doctorate - Ph.D.(Science) Supervisor

Modules Taught

  Term/Year Module Title Module Code Subject / Desc
Semester 1 / 3rd Year Astronomical Data Analysis PH363 Practical astronomy research skills. 20 lectures + 10 x 3-hour labs + 5 nights field trip to Loiano Observatory (Italy); I organize all aspects of the field trip
Semester 1 / 4th Year Astrophysics PH466 6 out of 24 lectures. Advanced topics in Astrophysics for experienced students
Semester 1 / 4th Year Practical Work (Including Project) PH427 Director of Astronomy 4th Year Labs. Supervision of 2 experiments throughout a 9-week cycle in 1st semester. Supervision of typical ~3 Final Year Project students per year, through the full 2nd semester.
Semester 2 / 3rd Year Signal Analysis PH336 24 lectures. Information theory and methods for analysis and synthesis of signals and images.
Both Semesters / 2nd Year Physics 2nd Year Laboratory AH.0103 25 x 3-hour labs, and overall academic coordination asDirector of 2nd Year Labs
Semester 2 / 2nd Year Observational Astronomy PH223 24 lectures. Survey of telescopes, instrumentation and methods across all wavelength domains used in astronomical observations

External Collaborators

  Name Organisation / Institute Country Description of Collaboration
Prof. Gregg Hallinan Caltech U.S.A.
Gregg was a PhD student, and later a postdoc, in NUIG when I began working with him on Ultracool dwarfs. We continued our collaboration when he moved on to Berkeley/NRAO and then Caltech. His studies of these objects at radio wavelengths led to my involvement through a need for follow-on or simultaneous optical/IR studies in the domains of spectroscopy and timeseries photometry, the latter primarily with the GUFI camera of which I was P.I. Gregg and I travelled to Hawaii to use the Gemini North telescope in 2011, but blizzards at the summit meant we came away with nothing!
Brian Espey Trinity College Dublin IRELAND
I recently began providing Brian with night sky brightness measurements for locations in the West of Ireland, and became an alternate Irish MC member for the EU COST "Loss of the Night Network" (LoNNe) of which he was already the main Irish MC member.
Dr. Leon Harding NASA JPL U.S.A.
Leon was my PhD student in NUIG, graduating in 2012. He redeveloped our GUFI camera for the VATT telescope in Arizona and undertook long observing campaigns there. He has since become an instrument technologist at Caltech and JPL.