Astrophysicist (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)
Trust Fund (Non-Federal), temporary not to exceed three years
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO, part of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for
Astrophysics) invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellowship to work with Dr. Paul Plucinsky within
the High Energy Astrophysics Division. The incumbent will conduct research on supernova remnants
(SNRs), with an emphasis on using high-resolution X-ray imaging and spectral data to constrain the
properties of the SNR and the progenitor star. The incumbent will play a key role in the analysis of the
data from a Cycle 20 Chandra LP program of the SNR N132D totaling 900 ks in exposure. The incumbent
will also participate in simulations and planning for observations of SNRs with the next Japanese X-ray
Astronomy mission called XRISM, scheduled for launch in early 2022. The incumbent should be familiar
with X-ray spectral analysis software, the application of different plasma emission models, and the
interpretation of those results. The incumbent will apply advanced statistical techniques to the
interpretation of the data. The incumbent should be familiar with models of SNR evolution and should
be able to apply these models to new observations. The results of these analyses should be multiple
publications in peer-reviewed journals.
The incumbent will work with Drs. Plucinsky, Terrance Gaetz, Vinay Kashyap and other members of their
large, international collaboration for the N132D Chandra LP project. This will include data analysis with a
range of existing techniques and tools, as well as developing computer programs and scripts as needed.
The incumbent will participate in the interpretation of the results, in collaboration with other
colleagues, will be an active participant in group discussions, prepare summaries and papers for
publications, and will deliver talks to conferences. The incumbent will be strongly encouraged to write
observing proposals as PI to support the scientific investigations.
For complete information and online application procedures please visit:
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to
diversity in our workplace.