Seeing the Cosmic Web in X-rays

Blazing the Trail for the Next Generation of X-ray Satellites

Since the work of Briel & Henry (1995), the search for X-ray emission from the cosmic web has been mostly fruitless; however, thanks to an extremely long observation with the Chandra satellite, we were able to finally see cluster filaments. With multi-object spectroscopy from Magellan to confirm these structures, we now have a vision into the heart of the X-ray universe.

Learn More

X-rays from the Titans of the early Universe

Understanding the first supermassive black holes

In the first billion years of the universe, supermassive black holes are growing at incredible rates, with billion-Solar-mass SMBHs observed 750 million years after the Big Bang. As higher-redshift and more massive quasars are discovered, the tension between observed properties, theoretical seed populations, and Eddington-limited growth rates increases. X-Rays, which provide the most direct view of the AGN itself, offer us a way to better understand the conditions fueling this massive growth. I have studied several of the most interesting quasars in the first billion years to better understand the growth of this population.

Learn More

Peering Into the Hearts of Galaxy Clusters

Unlocking the Potential of HST with New Techniques

Deep HST observations of galaxy clusters (such as CLASH, the Frontier Fields, and RELICS) have given us an unprecedented view into clusters of galaxies. Yet, to make use of these observations, we need to account for the complex photometric background each galaxy has. I developed techniques for detection and photometry in cluster environments to unlock the full extent of these surveys.

Learn More

Igniting Star Formation in Massive Galaxies

Observational Tracers of AGN Feedback

While the classical perception of massive galaxies is that they are red and dead, the brightest galaxies in groups and clusters can be home to massive amounts of ongoing star-formation, brilliant filaments of Halpha emission, and glowing nodules of UV emission. These observations all tie into how AGN feedback moderates the cooling of gas -- a cycle commonly referred to as precipitation.

Learn More

Transitioning from Groups to Clusters

Are Groups Scaled Down Versions of Clusters

In a simple picture, groups are just small clusters -- fewer galaxies, less mass, and colder gas. But as the energy budget becomes less dominated by gravity, astrophysical processes become more important. By studying how groups differ from clusters, we can understand the importance of supernovae and AGN in shaping massive environments.