Dr. Phil Massey


Dr. Phil Massey, Lowell Observatory Astrononer
Stellar Astronomy
PhD University of Colorado,, 1980

Dr. Massey joined the Lowell staff in September 2000, coming from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), where (among other things) he was the Telescope Scientist for Kitt Peak’s 4-meter Mayall Telescope and was involved in improving its delivered image quality (“seeing”).

Dr. Massey primarily uses the nearby galaxies of the Local Group to study how the evolution of the most luminous and massive stars is affected by environmental factors, such as metallicity. In his work, he uses optical photometry and spectroscopy obtained both on ground-based and space-based telescopes, with occasional forays into the ultraviolet and near infrared. 

Paradoxically, Dr. Massey hates travel but loves observing from remote mountain tops, particularly Las Campanas Observatory, from which he studies stars in the Magellanic Clouds. He’s published more than 300 papers, conference proceedings, and abstracts over the years, and hopes to make it to 1000. 

Dr. Massey also typically mentors a Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) student each summer.

Check out Dr. Massey’s webpage.