Research Interests

My research interests are covering topics in both Galactic as well as extragalactic astronomy, and most of my projects concentrate on using radio interferometry techniques to study details of gas distribution, kinematics and dynamics. With spectral line observations of molecular maser transitions, including OH, H2O and CH3OH using Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) we can study gas motions at very high angular resolution. In particular, I am interested in the field of astronomical masers, since they are very useful tools for probing gas motions and they occur under specific conditions yielding information about the region where they arise (e.g., densities, temperatures, and sometimes the presence of radiation fields). I also work with the Long Wavelength Array (LWA) project, a low frequency telescope in New Mexico, operated and constructed by UNM.

Research projects
BAaDE: Bulge Asymmetries and Dynamical Evolution. This is a survey aiming to map the positions and velocities of up to ~34,000 SiO maser stars in the Galactic bulge and inner Galaxy. Our survey will also yield sufficiently luminous SiO masers suitable for follow-up orbit and parallax determination using VLBI. The SiO maser stars are detectable both near the otherwise obscured plane and Center as well as in regions with less optical extinction, expanding by a large number the sample of currently known stellar tracers in the inner Galaxy.

Supernova remnants colliding with molecular clouds: In another project we investigate the properties of gas in molecular clouds interacting with supernova remnants. 1720 MHz OH and 36.2 and 44.1 GHz methanol masers are collisionally excited, their detection combined with modeling helps constraining the densities in the interaction regions. This may provide input to, e.g., hadronic CR acceleration scenarios.

Proto-planetary nebulae: Evolved stars transitioning into the planetary nebula phase undergo a short phase labelled protoplanetary nebula. During this stage many quasi-spherical mass loss processes change into bi- or multi polar, altering the morphology. Water masers can probe the bipolar outflows and may also be used to estimate distances through parallax measurements.