Thomas Connor, PhD

About Me

I am an astrophysicist at the Chandra X-ray Center at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard and Smithsonian. Before that, I was a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/ Caltech where I studied the X-ray properties of extreme AGN, particularly those in the first billion years of the Universe. I also worked in the NuSTAR Science Operations Center, which is responsible for the operation of the first orbital observatory capable of focusing high-energy X-rays. Previously, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science. There, I focused on understanding the origin and evolution of galaxy clusters by exploring their connections to the Cosmic Web and through the development of new observational and analytical methods. The unifying thread of all of my work has been to understand the most massive cosmic structures as they have evolved from the Big Bang to now.

My educational career began at Case Western Reserve University, where I performed my undergraduate studies, and continued to my doctoral alma mater, Michigan State University. My PhD thesis was advised by Megan Donahue and focused on observations of galaxy clusters with The Hubble Space Telescope, XMM-Newton, and SOAR. Since then, I have developed experience across a number of observatories and wavelength regimes, including X-rays, UV, optical, and NIR.

“Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.”