Date Title Details
Jan 9 Aria get a Posse Scholarship Aria Gasca, a high school student who worked with Margaret Lazzarini as part of the Hybrid Summer Research Connections program in the summer of 2022, was recently awarded a prestigious Posse Scholarship to attend Tulane University next year. Aria worked on a research project combining NuSTAR, Chandra, and Hubble observations of the nearby galaxy Triangulum to identify optical counterparts to hard X-ray sources in the galaxy.
Jan 12 The HEA Group attends AAS 241 Several members of the HEA Group including Amruta, Dan, Ed, Javier, Hannah, Karl, Margaret, Murray, Peter and Yuhan traveled to Seattle to attend the 241st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS 241). There they presented their work through talks, iposters and press conferences, and met with colleagues old and new.
Jan 12 Hannah goes observing to Hawaii Staff Scientist Hannah Earnshaw went to Hawaii to use the near infrared camera NIRC2 on the Keck telescope to look for infrared counterparts to ultraluminous X-ray sources in nearby galaxies. The laser guide star system on Keck allows for taking very high-resolution images, which they will use to find out which exact star is the companion to the X-ray source.
Jan 20 Summer undergraduate research opportunities in the HEA Group Do you want to spend a summer doing research in the HEA Group? Caltech offers the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program which gives undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of experienced mentors working at the frontier of their fields. Check here for opportunities, including in the HEA Group.
Jan 23 Renee wins the 2023 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize Former postdoc Renee Ludlam is the recipient of the American Astronomical Society's (AAS) 2023 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize. The prize is awarded for outstanding achievement in observational astronomical research based on measurements of radiation from an astronomical object. Renee won for her novel explorations of the relativistic universe that have revealed fundamental properties of neutron stars. Congratulations Renee!
Jan 26 NuSTAR Cycle 9 proposals submitted The deadline for NuSTAR Cycle 9 proposals was on January 26th and many members of the HEA Group made submissions to have their targets observed. Successful proposals will be selected by an anonymous review panel and observations will start in June 2023. Good luck to everyone who submitted a proposal!
Jan 30 Caltech to host the First UVEX Community Workshop On March 13-15, 2023, Caltech will be hosting the First UVEX Community Workshop: Synergies and New Opportunities, to explore the potential science opportunities presented by the Ultraviolet Explorer, a proposed MIDEX mission currently in Phase A of development and led by Professor Fiona Harrison. For more information and to register, see here.
Feb 3 Peter gives a tutorial on Bayesian X-ray spectral fitting Postdoc Peter Boorman visited the University of Clemson to present a colloquium and give a tutorial on Bayesian X-ray spectral fitting. Bayesian spectral analysis is useful for systematic fitting with minimal user input of initial parameters, efficient systematic fitting of large datasets with many sources or comparing many models and provides accurate parameter constraints, even for (very) low counts or for complex parameter spaces with strong degeneracies.
Feb 9 NuSTAR observations of the Sun highlighted in a JPL press release This week JPL highlighted observations of the Sun made by NuSTAR in a press release. NuSTAR observed the Sun at the same time the X-ray Telescope (XRT) on the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Hinode mission and and the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. These observations occurred in June 2022 during the perihelion pass of the Parker Solar Probe, which enables scientists to link activity observed remotely in the Sun’s atmosphere with the direct samples of the solar environment taken by the probe.
Feb 10 Swift Cycle 19 results are out The results from the Swift Cycle 19 peer review have now been published. Among the successful proposers is NuSTAR Project Scientist Daniel Stern, who has been awarded time to observe the potential electromagnetic counterparts from black hole mergers in the accretion disks of AGN. Congratulations Dan!
Feb 13 Peter gives a talk at Astronomy on Tap Postdoc Peter Boorman presented his research at Astronomy on Tap about finding accreting supermassive black holes. Astronomy on Tap is a regular nation-wide event in which astronomers present their research in an informal setting at local bars. For more details of future events in Pasadena, see the webpage here.
Feb 15 The HEA Group gets a visit from Professor Adlyka Annuar Professor Adlyka (Ady) Annuar is currently visiting the HEA Group from the National University of Malaysia. She is visiting for a month to work on a sample of local AGN mainly using NuSTAR and Chandra data. Welcome Ady!
Feb 27 McKinley becomes a professor Former postdoc McKinley Brumback has accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Physics at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, beginning in July 2023. In her new role, Professor Brumback will teach physics core curriculum, mentor undergraduates in high energy astrophysics research, and help the Middlebury Physics Department expand its offered astronomy curriculum. Congratulations McKinley!
Mar 12 Labani gets a CITA National Fellowship Postdoc Labani Mallick was offered and accepted a CITA National Fellowship. She will conduct independent research on high-energy astrophysics at the University of Manitoba under the CITA National Fellowship program.
Mar 15 Caltech hosts the First UVEX Community Workshop This week Caltech hosted the First UVEX Community Workshop: Synergies and New Opportunities. Astronomers from all over the US and abroad came to hear and talk about Gravitational Wave astronomy, stars, galaxies, dust and time domain astronomy in the UV.
Mar 26 The HEA Group travels to Hawaii for HEAD 20 The 20th Meeting of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the AAS will take place on the Big Island of Hawaii, March 26-30. Many members of the HEA Group will be in attendence to present their work on ultraluminous X-ray sources, X-ray binaries and active galactic nuclei. There will also be a special session on X-ray probe concepts, including the High Energy X-ray Probe (HEX-P) lead by NuSTAR Project Scientist Daniel Stern.
Apr 6 Matteo's result is highlighted in a JPL press release Former HEA Group member Matteo Bachetti's work on the orbital decay of the ultraluminous X-ray pulsar powering M82 X-2 was highlighted in a JPL press release. His result confirmed that the pulsar is intrinsically as bright as it appears, and is not a result of the emission being beamed in our direction. Congratulations Matteo!
Apr 10 Labani gives a seminar at CSU Stanislaus Postdoc Labani Mallik visited California State University, Stanislaus this week and gave an invited seminar. The title of her talk was "Accreting Massive Black Holes at the Center of Galaxies and their Impacts on Small and Large Scales."
Apr 14 Peter gives a seminar at Wayne State University Postdoc Peter Boorman gave seminar at Wayne State University on the NuSTAR Local AGN NH Distribution Survey (NuLANDS).
Apr 17 NuSTAR Cycle 9 results are out! The results from the NuSTAR Cycle 9 peer review have now been published. Among the successful proposers were HEA Group members Amruta, Javier, Peter and Shina. Congratulations!
Date Title Details
Jan 10 Yuhan Presents at AAS Press Conference Graduate student Yuhan Yao presents her work on source AT2020mrf via a AAS press conference! Here is a link to a recording of her presentation!
Jan 24 Myles Rotates Out of HEAG As part of his rotational grad program, Myles Sherman has rotated out of our group. We wish him the best of luck in his new position with Professor Vikram Ravi and his research group!
Jan 27 Renee's Paper is Accepted for Publication! Postdoc Renee Ludlam's new paper, Radius Constraints from Reflection Modeling of Cygnus X-2 with NuSTAR and NICER, has been accepted for publication by ApJ. Hooray!
Jan 28 NuSTAR Cycle 8 proposals due This is a guide for NuSTAR Cycle 8 Proposers!
Feb 6 Sean's Paper is Accepted for Publication! Grad student Sean Pike's new paper, MAXI and NuSTAR observations of the faint X-ray transient MAXI J1848-015 in the GLIMPSE-C01 Cluster, has been accepted for publication by ApJ! Sean says "We used NuSTAR to study the spectrum of a newly discovered X-ray source in the GLIMPSE-C01 cluster and found that despite being relatively dim, the source is a black hole accreting material at very high temperatures — around 10 million Kelvin. By looking at radiation reflected off of the accretion disk, we were able to probe the region near the black hole. We found evidence that the innermost edge of the disk moved outward as the source got dimmer. We also found that the black hole has a very high spin parameter, meaning that it drags the space around it in a circular motion."
Feb 9 Hannah's Paper is Published! Staff Scientist Hannah Earnshaw's new paper, Reconstruction of the NuSTAR point spread function using single-laser metrology, details a contingency method for calculating the NuSTAR mast aspect solution in the potential event of the loss of one of the metrology lasers. Always great to be prepared!
Feb 10 JPL Press Release about NuSTAR's Observations of Jupiter! Observations from NuSTAR have revealed the highest-energy light ever detected from Jupiter!
Mar 1 McKinley's paper gets a JPL Press Release! Postdoc McKinley Brumback's paper on monitoring long term behaviors in the accreting pulsar SMC X-1 with NuSTAR's Stray Light has been published in ApJ. This paper got both a JPL Press Release and an Astrobites write-up! Congratulations McKinley!
Mar 6 Hannah wins Best Paper in Track! Staff Scientist Hannah Earnshaw presented their work on contingencies for the NuSTAR metrology laser system at the IEEE Aerospace Conference on 6 March 2022, and won a Best Paper In Track award for the Observation Systems and Technologies Track.
Mar 15 Thomas wins a poster competition! Congratulations to Thomas Connor, who received an award for Best Astrophysics Poster at the 2021 JPL Postdoc Poster contest. At today's ceremony, he presented his work to an audience including Interim Director General Larry James and JPL Chief Scientist Mark Simons. Photos and a recording of the event are available online. Excellent work, Thomas, and congratulations!
Mar 24 Murray's paper is Accepted for Publication! Staff scientist Murray Brightman's paper on absorption lines in a hyperluminous X-ray source in NGC 4045 was accepted for publication in ApJ. You can read the accepted version on arXiv here. Congratulations Murray!
Apr 6 Labani's paper is Accepted for Publication! Postdoc Labani Mallick's new paper on high-density reflection in low mass AGN was accepted for publication in MNRAS. The paper was written up on ScienceX and was featured on the XMM Newton Home Page. Congratulations Labani!
April 15 NuSTAR 2022 Conference - Early Registration Deadline Click here for information about our upcoming NuSTAR Science Conference in Sardinia! Register by April 15 for early-bird registration rates.
May 10 McKinley gets a job! Postdoc McKinley Brumback has accepted an offer for a postdoctoral position at the University of Michigan, starting in September 2022. Congratulations McKinley!
May 15 Riley gets a job! Postdoc Riley Connors has accepted an offer for a postdoctoral position at Villanova University with Prof. Joey Neilsen. Congratulations Riley!
May 26 Brian gives von Kármán Lecture Mission Scientist Brian Grefenstette spoke as part of JPL's von Kármán lecture series about NuSTAR and its contributions to high energy astronomy. Watch the recording of the lecture here. Well done Brian!
June 13 Happy 10th Birthday NuSTAR! Ten years ago today, NuSTAR successfully launched into orbit and became the first observatory to focus high energy X-rays, opening the door to new exploration of high energy phenomena. We are so proud of NuSTAR's spectacular performance and look forward to more exciting science in the years to come. Learn more about NuSTAR by reading this JPL press release and download a beautiful poster made to commemorate the occasion.
June 14 Welcome Summer Students! Summer truly begins with the arrival of our SURF and WAVE summer students. This group of undergraduates, both from Caltech and from schools around the world, will work with postdocs and staff scientists on exciting astrophysics research projects.
June 16 Hannah's paper is accepted for publication! Staff Scientist Hannah Earnshaw's paper, titled "The variability behavior of NGC 925 ULX-3," has been accepted for publication in ApJ. You can read the full paper here. Congratulations Hannah!
June 20 Ten Years of NuSTAR Conference Our Caltech group is helping to organize the "Ten Years of NuSTAR" conference in Cagliari, Italy. We cannot wait to see you in beautiful Cagliari and hear about your recent NuSTAR science.
July 7 Renee's paper is accepted for publication! Postdoc Renee Ludlam's paper, titled " StrayCats II: An Updated Catalog of NuSTAR Stray Light Observations," has been accepted for publication in ApJ. You can read the full paper here, and learn more about the StrayCats project on their website! Congratulations Renee!
July 8 Margaret's paper is accepted for publication! Postdoc Margaret Lazzarini's paper on measuring the star formation history in the Triangulum Galaxy has been accepted for publication in ApJ. You can read the full paper here, or check out the awesome Astrobites article on the paper instead! Congratulations Margaret!
July 14 Riley's paper is accepted for publication! Postdoc Riley Connors' paper, titled "The long-stable hard state of XTE J1752-223 and the disk truncation dilemma," has been accepted for publication in ApJ. You can read the full paper here. Congratulations Riley!
July 18 Sean successfully defends his Ph.D. thesis! Graduate student Sean Pike successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis. Congratulations Dr. Pike!
July 20 Brian gives public lecture Staff scientist Brian Grefenstette gave a public lecture to the Night Sky Network about NuSTAR and the exciting X-ray science it has covered in its 10 years of operation. Read more about the talk and watch the recording here!
Aug 4 Amruta does virtual science outreach Postdoc Amruta Jaodand is passionate about promoting science with a focus on inspiring students from diverse, traditionally under-represented background. She has presented many public lectures, organised star gazing nights and for the last two years has been dedicating time to visit schools virtually or in person through Skype a Scientist Initiative. This week she 'visited' a school in Wandin, Australia to talk about various topics such as pulsars, space telescopes such as NuSTAR and growing need for coding and computational resources in astronomy analysis. There were 2 classroom of very excited students in age groups of 10-14. The virtual Q&A after talk lasted almost an hour, and ended with the students giving the 'Live Long and Prosper' sign.
Aug 18 Summer Seminar Day Summer Seminar Day marks the end of the project for most of our Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows. Our SURFs gave excellent poster and oral presentations of their final projects. Thank you for a wonderful summer of science, SURFs, and best of luck with your next year of school!
Aug 24 Gullo's paper is accepted for publication! Postdoc Gullo Mastroserio's paper on the high energy X-ray spectrum of Cyg X-1 with NuSTAR stray light and INTEGRAL has been accepted for publication in ApJ. Congratulations Gullo!
Aug 31 Dr. Oluwashina (Shina) Adegoke joins the HEA Group Shina joins us from Afe Babalola University in Nigeria as a postdoctoral researcher. Welcome Shina!
Sep 26 Murray finds an X-ray transient in a nearby galaxy Staff Scientist Murray Brightman found a new X-ray source in the galaxy NGC 7793 that had never been detected before. He reported on it in an Astronomer's Telegram.
Oct 6 Hannah gives a talk to science educators Staff Scientist Hannah Earnshaw gave a talk about NuSTAR to NASA's Universe of Learning to celebrate 10 years of NuSTAR!
Oct 14 Dr. Peter Boorman joins the HEA Group Peter joins us from Czech Academy of Sciences in Czechia as a postdoctoral researcher. Welcome Peter!
Oct 31 Dr. Ed Nathan joins the HEA Group Ed joins us from Oxford University in the UK as a postdoctoral researcher. Welcome Ed!
Nov 2 Murray gets follow-up observations of the X-ray transient he found Staff Scientist Murray Brightman got observations of the new X-ray source he found in the galaxy NGC 7793 with Swift, NuSTAR and Chandra which revealed it to be a new ultraluminous X-ray source. He reported on it in an Astronomer's Telegram.
Nov 14 Margaret goes observing to Keck on the Big Island of Hawaii This week postdoc Margaret Lazzarini went to Hawaii to observe on the Keck Telescopes. She used the DEIMOS spectrograph on Keck II to get optical spectra of companion stars in high mass X-ray binary systems in nearby galaxies Andromeda (M31) and Triangulum (M33).
Nov 14 Amruta travels to Texas and Michigan to talk about her work This week postdoc Amruta Jaodand presented her latest work on the discovery of UV millisecond pulsations in transitional millisecond pulsars in a colloquium at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and a seminar at Wayne State University. She also spoke with PhD and undergraduate students and advised them on applying for postdocs including in the HEA group.
Nov 30 Yuhan's work is published in Nature Graduate student Yuhan Yao was involved in a study of the tidal disruption event AT 2022cmc that was published in Nature this week. Congratulations Yuhan!
Dec 2 The HEA Group gets a visit from Dr. Mike Koss of Eurika Scientific Friend of the HEA Group Mike Koss visited this week and have a presentation on his work on NuSTAR observations of Swift/BAT selected AGN.
Dec 6 Brian and Hiro's paper is published NuSTAR Scientists Brian Grefenstette and Hiro Miyasaka have a new paper out in the Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems (JATIS) describing the NuSTAR background.
Dec 7 Fiona gives a talk at the University of Michigan NuSTAR PI and HEA Group leader Professor Fiona Harrison traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan this week to give the Mohler Prize lecture on The Science of NuSTAR.
Dec 14 Yuhan gets NICER Cycle 5 observations Graduate student Yuhan Yao has been awarded observations with NASA's Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer Mission (NICER) in their Cycle 5 call for proposals. She proposed for NICER+NuSTAR observations of two tidal disruption events. Congratulations Yuhan!
Dec 15 Peter gives a talk at the Torus 2022 workshop Postdoc Peter Boorman gave a talk on the NuSTAR Local AGN NH Distribution Survey (NuLANDS) at the TORUS 2022 workshop in Leiden in the Netherlands. The conference discussed the latest in modelling and observations of the circum-nuclear region surrounding AGN, as well as plans for future ground-and space-based missions.
Dec 20 Yuhan's work is highlighted in a JPL press release Graduate student Yuhan Yao’s results on the tidal disruption event AT2021ehb were highlighted in a JPL press release. Congratulations Yuhan!
Date Title Details
April 26 NuSTAR Cycle 7 targets announced Congratulations to all whose proposals were successful. Read the full target list here.
May 19 Yanjun's PhD defense Probing the Inner Accretion Flow Properties Around Black Holes with X-ray Observations
Aug 30 Sean publishes a paper! Photospheric Radius Expansion and a Double-peaked Type-I X-Ray Burst from GRS 1741.9–2853
Sept 16 Nikita's PhD defense Probing the Corona in Active Galactic Nuclei using Broadband X-ray Spectroscopy
Oct 23 Hannah goes to Hawaii! Hannah Earnshaw is off to Hawaii for few days, where they are using the Keck telescope to observe the companion stars to some ULXs in the infrared. Wish them good weather for observing!
Oct 25 Javier's project receives NASA ADAP (Astrophysics Data Analysis Program) Grant "Bridging the gap between X-ray and UV/optical disk reverberation mapping in Active Galactic Nuclei" is a project that Javier is a Co-Investigator on in tandem with MIT scientists, seeking to study supermassive black holes in AGN using new timing techniques to analyze UV and X-ray observations.
Nov 4 Decadal Survey release The National Academies' Decadal Survey (co-chaired by our own Fiona Harrison) is released and discussed in a public webinar on Thursday, November 4th. More details can be found here.
Nov 7 NuSTAR's 1000th published paper! Today (Sunday, November 7th) the NASA HEASARC (High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center) bibliography site posted the 1000th published science paper from NuSTAR. Also, the 1001st and 1002nd papers.
Nov 9 Murray's paper accepted into The Astrophysical Journal Evolution of the spin, spectrum and super-orbital period of the ultraluminous X-ray pulsar M51 ULX7
Nov 15 Labani Mallick joins the team! New Postdoc Labani Mallick joins the HEAG! Check out her profile on the People page!
Nov 23 Thomas, Daniel, and friends get a new paper accepted into The Astrophysical Journal Letters X-Ray Evidence Against the Hypothesis that the Hyper-Luminous z=6.3 Quasar J0100+2802 is Lensed
Nov 23 Nikita's Virtual lecture presentation The Enigmatic Corona: Powerhouse of Accreting Black Holes. You can watch it on YouTube Live here!
Nov 30 Javier's Paper Is Accepted to ApJ Javier Garcia's paper, Relativistic X-ray Reflection Models for Accreting Neutron Stars, is published on ApJ. Co-authors include HEAG members Renee Ludlam and Fiona Harrison, among others.
Dec 1 Fiona Testifies Before Congress Grad student Yuhan Yao submitted a new paper to ApJ presenting AT2020mrf, the fifth member of a new class of engine-driven massive star explosions!
Dec 1 Yuhan Submits to ApJ December 1st, at 11:00 am EST, Fiona provides A Review of the Decadal Survey for Astronomy and Astrophysics in the 2020s before the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.
Dec 8 NuSTAR Cycle 8 Now Accepting Proposals The due date for NuSTAR Cycle 8 proposal submissions is January 28th, 2022. Proposals should be submitted via the HEASARC's ARK Remote Proposal System (RPS). For more information about this cycle, please visit the NuSTAR Proposal Page.
Dec 9 XMM-Newton Cycle 21 Results Released! The list of accepted observations for XMM-Newton AO-21 is released! The list can be found here, and features multiple HEAG members including Murray, Javier, Daniel, Yuhan, Labani, and Thomas!