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Astronomer

BS, MS, 1975, California Institute of Technology

PhD, 1980, University of Colorado

Dr. Phil 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”). At Lowell, he’s served as the Principal Investigator for the Large Monolithic Imager (LMI), the workhorse optical camera for the DCT. Massey’s research interests include the study of massive stars (O-type, Wolf-Rayet, yellow and red supergiants), binary stars, young clusters, and the initial mass function. He 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, 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. He’s been privileged to work with some great collaborators. Massey typically mentors a Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) student each summer, and an MIT/Wellesley Field Camp student during January.

Learn more about Dr. Massey at his webpage.

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