I am a researcher at the
MIT Kavli Institute, working on the
Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). I am especially interested in time domain astronomy and potential uses of TESS for extragalactic astrophysics.
I earned my PhD in Astronomy from the Ohio State University.
My thesis work was focused on the continuum emission in Active Galactic Nuclei.
I am working with the TESS mission to discover small exoplanets around nearby bright stars. I will also use TESS to study extragalactic transient phenomena, such as supernovae, tidal disruption events, and exceptional AGN activity.
I use the "reverberation mapping" technique to explore the interior structures of active galactic nuclei (AGN).
AGN are too distant to be resolved with direct imaging. Instead, I search for variable flux signals and their corresponding "light echoes"—the echoes encode information about the AGN interior. The videos below discuss this in more detail.
The AGN phenomenon is interpreted as actively growing (accreting) super-massive black holes. My dissertation research was devoted to understanding the black hole's environment, in particular, the accretion flow and surrounding "broad line region."
My introduction to time-domain astronomy was a search for new Cepheid stars in NGC 4258, a mega-maser galaxy used to anchor the extra-galactic distance scale.
I am also working on a program to obtain precise Cepheid distances to the nearest AGN, which have distances uncertain by factors of 2 or more.
Reverberation Mapping of Optical Emission Lines in Five Active Galaxies
Fausnaugh et al. 2017
Space Telescope and Optical Reverberation Mapping Project. III. Optical Continuum Emission and Broad-Band Time Delays in
Fausnaugh et al. 2016
The Cepheid Distance to the Maser-Host Galaxy NGC 4258:
Studying Systematics with the
Large Binocular Telescope
Fausnaugh et al. 2015
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Advisor: Prof. Bradley Peterson
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Awarded and funded by St. John's College
History of Math and Science
Honors Thesis: "Simplicity and Certainty: Standards of Truth in Newton's Principia and Beyond"
Santa Fe, NM
I helped write and develop several shows for the OSU planetarium:
Graded exams, designed/hosted review sessions.
Astronomy 2291: Introduction to Astronomy and Planets
(Calculus-based, for astronomy majors)
Astronomy 1161: Introduction to Astronomy and the Solar System
Delivered weekly presentations, hosted public question/answer sessions.
Demonstrated/guided practica and developed/documented procedures in the senior-year laboratory.
Demonstrated/guided practica in the junior-year laboratory.
faus /*at~\ mit /~dot*\ edu
77 Massachusetts Avenue, 37-535
Cambridge, Ma 02139
617 - 324 - 6404