M. M. Kasliwal

AlbaNova University Center, Tukholma, Stockholm, Sweden

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Publications (332)1272.95 Total impact

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    Nathan Smith, Jon C. Mauerhan, S. Bradley Cenko, Mansi M. Kasliwal, Jeffrey M. Silverman, Alexei V. Filippenko, Avishay Gal-Yam, Kelsey I. Clubb, Melissa L. Graham, Douglas C. Leonard, J. Chuck Horst, G. Grant Williams, Jennifer E. Andrews, Shrinivas R. Kulkarni, Peter Nugent, Mark Sullivan, Kate Maguire, Dong Xu, Sagi Ben-Ami
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    ABSTRACT: PTF11iqb was initially classified as a TypeIIn event caught very early after explosion. It showed narrow Wolf-Rayet (WR) spectral features on day 2, but the narrow emission weakened quickly and the spectrum morphed to resemble those of Types II-L and II-P. At late times, Halpha emission exhibited a complex, multipeaked profile reminiscent of SN1998S. In terms of spectroscopic evolution, we find that PTF11iqb was a near twin of SN~1998S, although with weaker interaction with circumstellar material (CSM) at early times, and stronger CSM interaction at late times. We interpret the spectral changes as caused by early interaction with asymmetric CSM that is quickly (by day 20) enveloped by the expanding SN ejecta photosphere, but then revealed again after the end of the plateau when the photosphere recedes. The light curve can be matched with a simple model for weak CSM interaction added to the light curve of a normal SN~II-P. This plateau requires that the progenitor had an extended H envelope like a red supergiant, consistent with the slow progenitor wind speed indicated by narrow emission. The cool supergiant progenitor is significant because PTF11iqb showed WR features in its early spectrum --- meaning that the presence of such WR features in an early SN spectrum does not necessarily indicate a WR-like progenitor. [abridged] Overall, PTF11iqb bridges SNe~IIn with weaker pre-SN mass loss seen in SNe II-L and II-P, implying a continuum between these types.
    01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: The radius and surface composition of an exploding massive star, as well as the explosion energy per unit mass, can be measured using early UV observations of core collapse supernovae (SNe). We present the first results from a simultaneous GALEX/PTF search for early UV emission from SNe. Six Type II SNe and one Type II superluminous SN (SLSN-II) are clearly detected in the GALEX NUV data. We compare our detection rate with theoretical estimates based on early, shock-cooling UV light curves calculated from models that fit existing Swift and GALEX observations well, combined with volumetric SN rates. We find that our observations are in good agreement with calculated rates assuming that red supergiants (RSGs) explode with fiducial radii of 500 R_solar, explosion energies of 10^51 erg, and ejecta masses of 10 M_solar. Exploding blue supergiants and Wolf-Rayet stars are poorly constrained. We describe how such observations can be used to derive the progenitor radius, surface composition and explosion energy per unit mass of such SN events, and we demonstrate why UV observations are critical for such measurements. We use the fiducial RSG parameters to estimate the detection rate of SNe during the shock-cooling phase (<1d after explosion) for several ground-based surveys (PTF, ZTF, and LSST). We show that the proposed wide-field UV explorer ULTRASAT mission, independent of host galaxy extinction, is expected to find >100 SNe per year (~0.5 SN per deg^2), down to an NUV detection limit of 21.5 mag AB. Our pilot GALEX/PTF project thus convincingly demonstrates that a dedicated, systematic SN survey at the NUV band is a compelling method to study how massive stars end their life.
    12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are one of the most tantalizing mysteries of the radio sky; their progenitors and origins remain unknown and until now no rapid multiwavelength follow-up of an FRB has been possible. New instrumentation has decreased the time between observation and discovery from years to seconds, and enables polarimetry to be performed on FRBs for the first time. We have discovered an FRB (FRB 140514) in real-time on 14 May, 2014 at 17:14:11.06 UTC at the Parkes radio telescope and triggered follow-up at other wavelengths within hours of the event. FRB 140514 was found with a dispersion measure (DM) of 562.7(6) cm$^{-3}$ pc, giving an upper limit on source redshift of $z \lesssim 0.5$. FRB 140514 was found to be 21$\pm$7% (3-$\sigma$) circularly polarized on the leading edge with a 1-$\sigma$ upper limit on linear polarization $<10%$. We conclude that this polarization is intrinsic to the FRB. If there was any intrinsic linear polarization, as might be expected from coherent emission, then it may have been depolarized by Faraday rotation caused by passing through strong magnetic fields and/or high density environments. FRB 140514 was discovered during a campaign to re-observe known FRB fields, and lies close to a previous discovery, FRB 110220; based on the difference in DMs of these bursts and time-on-sky arguments, we attribute the proximity to sampling bias and conclude that they are distinct objects. Follow-up conducted by 12 telescopes observing from X-ray to radio wavelengths was unable to identify a variable multiwavelength counterpart, allowing us to rule out models in which FRBs originate from nearby ($z < 0.3$) supernovae and long duration gamma-ray bursts.
    11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: SN 2014J in M82 is the closest Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) in decades. The proximity allows for detailed studies of supernova physics and provides insights into the circumstellar and interstellar environment. In this work we analyze Spitzer mid-IR data of SN 2014J in the 3.6 and 4.5 {\mu}m wavelength range, together with several other nearby and well-studied SNe Ia. We compile the first composite mid-IR light-curve templates from our sample of SNe Ia, spanning the range from before peak brightness well into the nebular phase. Our observations indicate that SNe Ia form a very homogeneous class of objects at these wavelengths. Using the low-reddening supernovae for comparison, we constrain possible thermal emission from circumstellar dust around the highly reddened SN 2014J. We also study SNe 2006X and 2007le, where the presence of matter in the circumstellar environment has been suggested. No significant mid-IR excess is detected, allowing us to place the most constraining upper limits to date on the amount of pre-existing dust in the circumstellar environment of any SN Ia. For SN 2014J, $M_{dust} < 10^{-5}$ M$_{\odot}$ within $r_{dust} \sim 10^{17}$ cm, which is insufficient to account for the observed extinction. Similar limits are obtained for SNe 2006X and 2007le.
    11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We study the very early lighcturves of supernova 2014J (SN2014J) using the high-cadence broad-band imaging data obtained by the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT), which fortuitously observed M82 around the time of the explosion, starting in November 2013 with up to 20 observations per night. These observations are complemented by observations in two narrow-band filters used in an H$\alpha$ survey of nearby galaxies by the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) that also captured the first days of the brightening of the supernova. The evolution of the lightcurves is consistent with the expected signal from the cooling of shock heated material of large scale dimensions, $\ge$ $1 R_{\odot}$. This could be due to heated material of the progenitor, a companion star or pre-existing circumstellar environment, e.g., in the form of an accretion disk. Structure seen in the lightcurves during the first days after explosion could also originate from radioactive material in the outer parts of an exploding white dwarf, as suggested from the early detection of gamma-rays. The model degeneracy translates into a systematic uncertainty of $\pm 0.3$ days on the estimate of the first light from SN2014J.
    10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present imaging and spectroscopy of a hydrogen-poor superluminous supernova (SLSN) discovered by the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory: iPTF13ajg. At a redshift of z=0.7403, derived from narrow absorption lines, iPTF13ajg peaked at an absolute magnitude M(u,AB)=-22.5, one of the most luminous supernovae to date. The uBgRiz light curves, obtained with the P48, P60, NOT, DCT, and Keck telescopes, and the nine-epoch spectral sequence secured with the Keck and the VLT (covering 3 rest-frame months), are tied together photometrically to provide an estimate of the flux evolution as a function of time and wavelength. The observed bolometric peak luminosity of iPTF13ajg is 3.2x10^44 erg/s, while the estimated total radiated energy is 1.3x10^51 erg. We detect narrow absorption lines of Mg I, Mg II, and Fe II, associated with the cold interstellar medium in the host galaxy, at two different epochs with X-shooter at the VLT. From Voigt-profile fitting, we derive the column densities log N(Mg I)=11.94+-0.06, log N(Mg II)=14.7+-0.3, and log N(Fe II)=14.25+-0.10. These column densities, as well as the Mg I and Mg II equivalent widths of a sample of hydrogen-poor SLSNe taken from the literature, are at the low end of those derived for gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), whose progenitors are also thought to be massive stars. This suggests that the environments of SLSNe and GRBs are different. From the nondetection of Fe II fine-structure absorption lines, we derive a strict lower limit on the distance between the supernova and the narrow-line absorbing gas of 50 pc. No host-galaxy emission lines are detected, leading to an upper limit on the unobscured star-formation rate of SFR([OII])<0.07 Msun/yr. Late-time imaging shows the host galaxy of iPTF13ajg to be faint, with g(AB)~27.0 and R(AB)>=26.0 mag, which roughly corresponds to M(B,Vega) >~ -17.7 mag. [abridged]
    09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present an investigation of the optical spectra of 264 low-redshift (z < 0.2) Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) discovered by the Palomar Transient Factory, an untargeted transient survey. We focus on velocity and pseudo-equivalent width measurements of the Si II 4130, 5972, and 6355 A lines, as well those of the Ca II near-infrared (NIR) triplet, up to +5 days relative to the SN B-band maximum light. We find that a high-velocity component of the Ca II NIR triplet is needed to explain the spectrum in ~95 per cent of SNe Ia observed before -5 days, decreasing to ~80 per cent at maximum. The average velocity of the Ca II high-velocity component is ~8500 km/s higher than the photospheric component. We confirm previous results that SNe Ia around maximum light with a larger contribution from the high-velocity component relative to the photospheric component in their Ca II NIR feature have, on average, broader light curves and lower Ca II NIR photospheric velocities. We find that these relations are driven by both a stronger high-velocity component and a weaker contribution from the photospheric Ca II NIR component in broader light curve SNe Ia. We identify the presence of C II in very-early-time SN Ia spectra (before -10 days), finding that >40 per cent of SNe Ia observed at these phases show signs of unburnt material in their spectra, and that C II features are more likely to be found in SNe Ia having narrower light curves.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 08/2014; 444(4). · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present optical and near-infrared (NIR) photometry and spectroscopy as well as modelling of the lightcurves of the Type IIb supernova (SN) 2011dh. Our extensive dataset spans 2 years, and complemented with Spitzer mid-infrared (MIR) data, we use it to build a 3-732 days optical to MIR bolometric lightcurve. To model the <400 days bolometric lightcurve we use a hydrodynamical model grid and a bolometric correction determined with steady-state NLTE modelling. We obtain similar results using the <100 days and <400 days bolometric lightcurves, and using the latter we find a helium core mass of 3.1 (+0.7-0.4) solar masses for SN 2011dh. We present 100-500 days bolometric and photometric lightcurves for the Jerkstrand et al. (2014) steady-state NLTE models, and the preferred 12 solar masses (initial mass) model shows a good overall agreement with the observed lightcurves. We find an excess in the K and the MIR bands developing between 100 and 250 days, during which an increase in the optical decline rate is also observed. A local origin of the excess is suggested by the depth of the HeI 2.058 micron absorption. Steady-state NLTE models with a modest dust opacity in the core, turned on during this period, reproduce the observed behaviour, but an additional excess in the Spitzer 4.5 micron band remains. Assuming this excess to be caused by CO fundamental band emission is consistent with the CO first overtone band emission detected at 206 days, and possibly at 89 days. We also extend our analysis to SNe 1993J and 2008ax, and the initial masses of ~15 solar masses found for SNe 2011dh, 1993J and 2008ax, by hydrodynamical modelling and steady-state NLTE modelling of nebular spectra (Jerkstrand et al. 2014), suggest that all of these Type IIb SNe originates from binary systems, as previously established for SN 1993J.
    08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Since the discovery of the unusual prototype SN 2002cx, the eponymous class of low-velocity, hydrogen-poor supernovae has grown to include at most another two dozen members identified from several heterogeneous surveys, in some cases ambiguously. Here we present the results of a systematic study of 1077 hydrogen-poor supernovae discovered by the Palomar Transient Factory, leading to nine new members of this peculiar class. Moreover we find there are two distinct subclasses based on their spectroscopic, photometric, and host galaxy properties: The "SN 2002cx-like" supernovae tend to be in later-type or more irregular hosts, have more varied and generally dimmer luminosities, have longer rise times, and lack a Ti II trough when compared to the "SN 2002es-like" supernovae. None of our objects show helium, and we counter a previous claim of two such events. We also find that these transients comprise 5.6+17-3.7% (90% confidence) of all SNe Ia, lower compared to earlier estimates. Combining our objects with the literature sample, we propose that these subclasses have two distinct physical origins.
    05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The explosive fate of massive Wolf-Rayet stars (WRSs) is a key open question in stellar physics. An appealing option is that hydrogen-deficient WRSs are the progenitors of some hydrogen-poor supernova explosions of types IIb, Ib and Ic (ref. 2). A blue object, having luminosity and colours consistent with those of some WRSs, has recently been identified in pre-explosion images at the location of a supernova of type Ib (ref. 3), but has not yet been conclusively determined to have been the progenitor. Similar work has so far only resulted in non-detections. Comparison of early photometric observations of type Ic supernovae with theoretical models suggests that the progenitor stars had radii of less than 10(12) centimetres, as expected for some WRSs. The signature of WRSs, their emission line spectra, cannot be probed by such studies. Here we report the detection of strong emission lines in a spectrum of type IIb supernova 2013cu (iPTF13ast) obtained approximately 15.5 hours after explosion (by 'flash spectroscopy', which captures the effects of the supernova explosion shock breakout flash on material surrounding the progenitor star). We identify Wolf-Rayet-like wind signatures, suggesting a progenitor of the WN(h) subclass (those WRSs with winds dominated by helium and nitrogen, with traces of hydrogen). The extent of this dense wind may indicate increased mass loss from the progenitor shortly before its explosion, consistent with recent theoretical predictions.
    Nature 05/2014; 509(7501):471-4. · 42.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present optical photometry and spectroscopy of the broad-lined Type Ic supernova (SNIc-BL) PTF10qts, which was discovered as part of the Palomar Transient Factory. The supernova was located in a dwarf galaxy of magnitude $r=21.1$ at a redshift $z=0.0907$. We find that the $R$-band light curve is a poor proxy for bolometric data and use photometric and spectroscopic data to construct and constrain the bolometric light curve. The derived bolometric magnitude at maximum light is $M_{\rm bol} = -18.51\pm0.2$ mag, comparable to that of SN 1998bw ($M_{\rm bol} = -18.7$ mag) which was associated with a gamma-ray burst (GRB). PTF10qts is one of the most luminous SNIc-BL observed without an accompanying GRB. We estimate the physical parameters of the explosion using data from our programme of follow-up observations, finding that it produced a larger mass of radioactive nickel compared to other SNeIc-BL with similar inferred ejecta masses and kinetic energies. The progenitor of the event was likely a $\sim20$M$_{\odot}$ star.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 05/2014; 442(3). · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the results of a Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) archival search for blue transients which lie in the magnitude range between "normal" core-collapse and superluminous supernovae (i.e. with $-21\,{\leq}M_{R\,(peak)}\,{\leq}-19$). Of the six events found after excluding all interacting Type IIn and Ia-CSM supernovae, three (PTF09ge, 09axc and 09djl) are coincident with the centers of their hosts, one (10iam) is offset from the center, and for two (10nuj and 11glr) a precise offset can not be determined. All the central events are similar photometrically to the He-rich tidal disruption candidate PS1-10jh. Spectroscopically, PTF09ge is also He-rich, while PTF09axc and 09djl display broad hydrogen features around peak magnitude. All three central events are in low star-formation hosts, two of which are E+A galaxies. Our spectrum of the host of PS1-10jh displays similar properties. PTF10iam, the one offset event, is different photometrically and spectroscopically from the central events and its host displays a higher star formation rate. Finding no obvious evidence for AGN activity, we conclude that the three central transients likely arise from the tidal disruption of a star by a super-massive black hole. We compare the spectra of these events to TDE candidates from the literature and to the recent ASASSN-14ae, and find that all of these objects can be unified on a continuous scale of spectral properties. The accumulated evidence of this expanded sample strongly supports a tidal disruption origin for this class of nuclear transients.
    05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present the results of a Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) archival search for blue transients which lie in the magnitude range between "normal" core-collapse and superluminous supernovae (i.e. with $-21\,{\leq}M_{R\,(peak)}\,{\leq}-19$). Of the six events found after excluding all interacting Type IIn and Ia-CSM supernovae, three (PTF09ge, 09axc and 09djl) are coincident with the centers of their hosts, one (10iam) is offset from the center, and for two (10nuj and 11glr) a precise offset can not be determined. All the central events are similar photometrically to the He-rich tidal disruption candidate PS1-10jh. Spectroscopically, PTF09ge is also He-rich, while PTF09axc and 09djl display broad hydrogen features around peak magnitude. All three central events are in low star-formation hosts, two of which are E+A galaxies. Our spectrum of the host of PS1-10jh displays similar properties. PTF10iam, the one offset event, is different photometrically and spectroscopically from the central events and its host displays a higher star formation rate. Finding no obvious evidence for AGN activity, we conclude that the three central transients likely arise from the tidal disruption of a star by a super-massive black hole. We compare the spectra of these events to TDE candidates from the literature and to the recent ASASSN-14ae, and find that all of these objects can be unified on a continuous scale of spectral properties. The accumulated evidence of this expanded sample strongly supports a tidal disruption origin for this class of nuclear transients.
    The Astrophysical Journal 04/2014; 793(1). · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Interaction of supernova (SN) ejecta with the optically thick circumstellar medium (CSM) of a progenitor star can result in a bright, long-lived shock breakout event. Candidates for such SNe include Type IIn and superluminous SNe. If some of these SNe are powered by interaction, then there should be a relation between their peak luminosity, bolometric light-curve rise time, and shock-breakout velocity. Given that the shock velocity during shock breakout is not measured, we expect a correlation, with a significant spread, between the rise time and the peak luminosity of these SNe. Here, we present a sample of 15 SNe IIn for which we have good constraints on their rise time and peak luminosity from observations obtained using the Palomar Transient Factory. We report on a possible correlation between the R-band rise time and peak luminosity of these SNe, with a false-alarm probability of 3%. Assuming that these SNe are powered by interaction, combining these observables and theory allows us to deduce lower limits on the shock-breakout velocity. The lower limits on the shock velocity we find are consistent with what is expected for SNe (i.e., ~10^4 km/s). This supports the suggestion that the early-time light curves of SNe IIn are caused by shock breakout in a dense CSM. We note that such a correlation can arise from other physical mechanisms. Performing such a test on other classes of SNe (e.g., superluminous SNe) can be used to rule out the interaction model for a class of events.
    The Astrophysical Journal 04/2014; 788(2). · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The wavelength-dependence of the extinction of Type Ia SN2014J in the nearby galaxy M82 has been measured using UV to near-IR photometry obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope, the Nordic Optical Telescope, and the Mount Abu Infrared Telescope. This is the first time that the reddening of a SN Ia is characterized over the full wavelength range of $0.2$-$2$ microns. A total-to-selective extinction, $R_V\geq3.1$, is ruled out with high significance. The best fit at maximum using a Galactic type extinction law yields $R_V = 1.4\pm0.1$. The observed reddening of SN2014J is also compatible with a power-law extinction, $A_{\lambda}/A_V = \left( {\lambda}/ {\lambda_V} \right)^{p}$ as expected from multiple scattering of light, with $p=-2.1\pm0.1$. After correction for differences in reddening, SN2014J appears to be very similar to SN2011fe over the 14 broad-band filter light curves used in our study.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 04/2014; 788(2). · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) is a multi-epochal robotic survey of the northern sky that acquires data for the scientific study of transient and variable astrophysical phenomena. The camera and telescope provide for wide-field imaging in optical bands. In the five years of operation since first light on December 13, 2008, images taken with Mould-R and SDSS-g' camera filters have been routinely acquired on a nightly basis (weather permitting), and two different H-alpha filters were installed in May 2011 (656nm and 663nm). The PTF image-processing and data-archival program at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) is tailored to receive and reduce the data, and, from it, generate and preserve astrometrically and photometrically calibrated images, extracted source catalogs, and coadded reference images. Relational databases have been deployed to track these products in operations and the data archive. The fully automated system has benefited by lessons learned from past IPAC projects and comprises advantageous features that are potentially incorporable into other ground-based observatories. Both off-the-shelf and in-house software have been utilized for economy and rapid development. The PTF data archive is curated by the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive (IRSA). A state-of-the-art custom web interface has been deployed for downloading the raw images, processed images, and source catalogs from IRSA.
    Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 04/2014; · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    Dataset: 1-22
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    Dataset: 13-119
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    ABSTRACT: We report on the spectroscopic classification of PSN J01440799-6107074 using a near-infrared spectrogram (range 800-2500 nm) obtained on Mar. 8.02 UT with the FoldedPort Infrared Echellette (FIRE) spectrograph on the 6.5-m Magellan Baade Telescope at Las Campanas Observatory. The near-infrared spectrum shows that it is a type-Ia supernova. The spectrum resembles the near-infrared spectrum of SN 2011fe at maximum light (Hsiao et al.
    02/2014;

Publication Stats

3k Citations
1,272.95 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • AlbaNova University Center
      Tukholma, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2013–2014
    • Weizmann Institute of Science
      • Nella and Leon Benoziyo Center for Astrophysics
      Israel
    • Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2011–2014
    • Carnegie Institution for Science
      • Department of Terrestrial Magnetism
      Washington, West Virginia, United States
    • The University of Warwick
      • Department of Physics
      Warwick, ENG, United Kingdom
    • Radboud University Nijmegen
      • Department of Astrophysics
      Nymegen, Gelderland, Netherlands
    • University of California, Santa Barbara
      • Department of Physics
      Santa Barbara, California, United States
  • 2005–2014
    • California Institute of Technology
      • • Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy
      • • Department of Astronomy
      • • Infrared Processing and Analysis Center
      Pasadena, California, United States
    • Pomona College
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Claremont, California, United States
  • 2012–2013
    • Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network
      Goleta, California, United States
  • 2010
    • University of Lyon
      Lyons, Rhône-Alpes, France
  • 2009
    • Swinburne University of Technology
      • Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2006
    • Princeton University
      • Department of Astrophysical Sciences
      Princeton, New Jersey, United States