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Robert Fesen

Robert Fesen

Robert Fesen

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.