The MIT Kavli Institute paves the way for new developments in space- & ground-based astrophysics. Our faculty, research staff, and students develop technology & instrumentation with a focus on an engineering and technical core.
Researchers at The Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research explore extreme and unusual phenomena found beyond the Earth including extrasolar planets, black holes, neutron stars, and distant galaxies and clusters of galaxies.
Joey Neilsen earned his PhD in Astronomy at Harvard University, working with Julia Lee on high-resolution X-ray spectral variability of black holes and neutron stars in our Galaxy, and he received bachelor's degrees in Physics and Math from Kenyon College. Before coming to MIT as a Hubble Fellow, he was an Einstein Fellow in Prof. Alan Marscher's group at Boston University and a postdoctoral associate with Prof. Claude Canizares at MKI.
Joey is interested in understanding the processes that control the mass and energy budget (the "ins" and "outs") of accreting black holes. How is it that stellar-mass black holes in X-ray binaries can outshine Sgr A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of our Galaxy, by a factor of 1 million? We know that black hole systems can launch powerful relativistic jets and massive, ionized winds, but what determines how much of the accreting mass-energy is channeled into these jets and winds, how much is converted to radiation, and how much is swallowed by the black hole? He uses X-ray space telescopes like Chandra and NuSTAR and ground-based telescopes like JVLA and ATCA in his effort to understand the astrophysical behavior of these winds, jets, and disks around accreting black holes.
A Link between X-Ray Emission Lines and Radio Jets in 4U 1630-47?
The case for massive, evolving winds in black hole X-ray binaries
A Chandra/HETGS Census of X-Ray Variability from Sgr A* during 2012
A Hybrid Magnetically/Thermally Driven Wind in the Black Hole GRO J1655-40?
Accretion disk winds as the jet suppression mechanism in the microquasar GRS 1915+105
Honors and awards:
NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Fellowship NASA Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship COSPAR Outstanding Young Author Award AAS High Energy Astrophysics Division Dissertation Prize