Professor Andrew Blain

Professor of Observational Astronomy

MA (Hons), PhD (Cambridge)

Tel: +44 (0)116 223 1772


Office: Room G17B, Physics and Astronomy Building

Office hours: By arrangement

Personal details

MA (Hons), PhD

I'm from Liverpool and studied and worked in Cambridge, before spending a decade in California and moving to Leicester in 2010. I was also a science team member on the NASA Wide Field Infrared Space Explorer (WISE) mission that was launched in 2009, and I've been involved in the time allocation process for several ground-based millimeter-far-infrared telescopes, the JCMT, IRAM and ALMA. I was chair of the ALMA Science Advisory Committee in 2010, and the UK Oversight Board for the SKA project.


  • Galaxy evolution/large-scale structure course in 4th year
  • Fundamental particles phenomenology in 3rd year
  • Optics modules in 1st year 1120
  • Modern Physics in 1st year
  • Undergraduate reading and research projects


Penney et al. (2019) The Environments of Luminous Radio - WISE Selected Infrared Galaxies, MNRAS, 483, 514

Diaz-Santos et al. (2018) The Multiple Merger Assembly of a Hyper-luminous Obscured Quasar at redshift 4.6, Science,362, 1034

Jones et al. (2017) Overdensities of SMGs around WISE-selected, ultra-luminous, high-redshift AGN, MNRAS, 469, 4565

Diaz-Santos et al. (2016) The Strikingly Uniform, Highly Turbulent Interstellar Medium of the Most Luminous Galaxy in the Universe, ApJL, 816, L6

Jones et al. (2015) Submillimetre observations of WISE/radio-selected AGN and their environments, MNRAS, 448, 3325

Blain et al. (2013) WISE Detections of Known QSOs at Redshifts Greater than Six, ApJ, 778, 113

Mateos et al. (2013) Uncovering obscured luminous AGN with WISE, MNRAS, 434, 941

Bridge et al. (2013) A New Population of High-z, Dusty Lyα Emitters and Blobs Discovered by WISE: Feedback Caught in the Act?, ApJ, 769, 91

Menendez-Delmestre et al. (2013) Mapping the Clumpy Structures within Submillimeter Galaxies Using Laser-Guide Star Adaptive Optics Spectroscopy, ApJ, 767, 151

Hainline et al. (2011) The Stellar Mass Content of Submillimeter-selected Galaxies, ApJ, 740, 96

Chapman et al. (2005) A Redshift Survey of the Submillimeter Galaxy Population, ApJ, 622, 772

Blain et al. (2002) Submillimeter galaxies, Physics Reports (PhR), 369, 111

For others see:

  • List of ADS publications (mostly for Andrew Blain, but some other Blains appear in the list from time to time)
  • List of arXiv publications (mostly for Andrew Blain, but some other Blains appear in the list from time to time)


I am interested in the formation and evolution of galaxies, especially from an infrared perspective, probing the interstellar medium to account for the complete luminosity of galaxies. This involves using a range of optical through radio observing facilities, both from the ground and in space. I also have an interest in the use and details of gravitational lensing, again focussed mainly on its effects on infrared sources. My prime interest at present is investigating the nature of the ultra luminous galaxies that have been discovered over the whole sky using the WISE mission, and the opportunities for extremely high-quality and sensitive imaging using the ALMA telescope, which is now in service in Northern Chile.


I have given several popular and outreach talks at "Stargazing Live" events, and spoken to school and prospective student groups. There have been several press releases about WISE results about which I was interviewed in press and broadcast media.

I've been co-opted as a Newsweek correspondent, via The Conversation: Newsweek roving correspondent

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Contact Details

Tel.: +44 (0)116 252 3506
Fax: +44 (0)116 252 2770

Department of Physics & Astronomy,
University of Leicester,
University Road,
Leicester, LE1 7RH,
United Kingdom.


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