MIT Kavli Institute Directory

Joey Neilsen

Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow Postdoctoral Scholar

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.

Research interests: 

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.

Representative publications: 

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