Robert Fesen is a professor of Physics and Astronomy
at Dartmouth College where he has been since 1989.
He received his B.S. in astronomy from Villanova
University, a M.S. from the University of Hawaii,
and a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of
Michigan. After graduation in 1981, Fesen took a
two year postdoc position at NASA's Goddard Space
Flight Center in Greenbelt MD, followed by another
postdoc (which later turned into a research staff
position) at the Center for Astrophysics and Space
astronomy at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
He stayed in Colorado for six years before moving
back east to Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. He
has been Acting Director of the MDM Observatory
at Kitt Peak outside of Tucson AZ, and is currently
on the board of Directors for the 10-meter SALT
telescope being built in South Africa. Fesen's main
interests lie in the field of supernovae and supernova
remnants and he makes use of X-ray, ultraviolet,
optical, and infrared observations from both ground-based
and space-based telescopes. A current area of study
is the infrared spectra of supernovae and their
remnants. One of his favorite objects is the Cassiopeia
A supernova remnant, which is the youngest known
in the Milky Way galaxy and exhibits the highest
expansion velocities. This object has also been
a favorite of one of the other team members, Dr.
Sidney van den Bergh, who did many of the important
initial studies of the Cas A supernova remnant using
the Palomar 200-inch telescope.
Like a lot of astronomers, Rob got interested in
astronomy early. While in high school, his parents
helped helped him purchase a small backyard telescope,
and he quickly got hooked on astronomy.