My primary research involves Astrophysics from the Moon, consisting of the design of low frequency radio telescopes in lunar orbit and on the farside surface. I am leading NASA-funded mission concept studies for a lunar SmallSat and a farside radio array for Hydrogen Cosmology. This work is funded by NASA headquarters. I also lead a multi-institution team called the Network for Exploration & Space Science with a $4 million NASA SSERVI grant, including an outreach effort to construct a new space exploration show at Fiske. My other research involves observations and numerical simulations of galaxy clusters. Our observational research makes use of the NASA Chandra X-ray observatory, and the JLVA and GMRT radio telescopes. Along with graduate students & postdocs, I study the role of shocks and cosmic rays created as clusters merge. This work is currently funded by a NASA ADAP grant.
Astrophysics and Cosmology from the Moon, modeling and space-based mission design for 21-cm observations of exoplanets, the cosmic dark ages and cosmic dawn, observations and simulations of galaxy clusters
ASTR 2020 - Space Astronomy and Exploration
Spring 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2020
Covers physical principles of performing astronomy from space for science and exploration. The basic design of launch vehicles and spacecraft, orbital dynamics, and instruments will be described in the context of specific space missions (e.g. Hubble Telescope, Mars rovers) as well as prospects for future space observatories in orbit and on the Moon.
ASTR 4800 - Space Science: Practice and Policy
Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2021
Exposes students to current controversies in science that illustrate the scientific method and the interplay of observation, theory, and science policy. Students research and debate both sides of the issues, which include strategies and spin-offs of space exploration, funding of science, big vs. small science, and scientific heresy and fraud. Recommended prerequisite: one year of college level astronomy or physics.