Mikako Matsuura


I am an astrophysicist working at Astrophysics Group at University College London. My research interests are stellar evolution and galaxy evolution.

My current research focuses on formation of dust and molecules in supernovae and asymptotic giant branch stars, and how these stellar products impact on chemical evolution of galaxies.

Currently, I am very excited about big opportunities to study this subject, using the state-of-art instruments, such as the Herschel Space Observatory and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillemeter telescope (ALMA).

Highlight of my research activities includes the discovery of dust reservoir in supernova 1987A. Using

the Herschel Space Observatory, we found about 0.4-0.7 solar mass of dust in the remnant of the explosive event of the massive (18-20 solar mass) star. This dust mass is equivalent to up to 230,000 Earth worth of dust. Supernovae can be very efficient dust factories, and they are potentially one of the the major dust sources in the Universe from the Milky Way to high-redshift galaxies. Our discovery changed astronomers view of supernovae.


Mikako Matsuura

Supernova 1987A

Herschel Space Observatory Image of Supernova 1987A and the surrounding area

Herschel Space Observatory