The image below is a live view from a zenith-pointed AXIS 214 camera. These data allows us to monitor the sky day and night above Bradley Observatory. During the day, the images are used in correlation with the LIDAR atmospheric science project (see below). At night, the images are a useful way to gauge the quality of the night sky for observing. The image updates automatically every 30s. Current weather conditions are monitored by a Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 Plus.
Teaching: Fall 2012
This fall, I am teaching Astronomy 120 (The Solar System) and Astronomy 120L. In the spring semester, I will be teaching Physics 211 (Scientific Computing), and Physics 111 Lab.
In September 2012, I received a 3-year research grant from the National Science Foundation to study massive star formation in the Sgr B2 Main region near the Galactic Center. Most of my astronomical research is focused on the early phases of massive star formation in the Milky Way Galaxy. I use radio telescopes like the Jansky Very Large Array in Socorro, NM to observe ionized gas that is lit up near young massive stars. The regions that I study are basically like "hidden" versions of the familiar Orion Nebula--concealed behind a veil of molecular gas that only very long wavelengths can penetrate. Last summer, I was awarded 20 hours of observing time on the JVLA. The first four hours of that data have been observed, and I reduced some of the data at the recently held data reduction workshop held in Socorro, NM (February 22-24, 2012). I will post results of that research as it happens. I have also made observations with the Spitzer Telescope (an orbiting infrared telescope), the Gemini North telescope, and the Submillimeter Array (SMA). Some of my more recent papers are listed below.
One general characteristic of massive stars is that they have much shorter lifetimes than stars like the Sun. Solar type stars live for perhaps 10 billion years. Massive stars are lucky if they live 10 million years. As a result, the early stages of massive star formation are likewise short lived, and due to the location of young massive stars--often within dense molecular clouds--they are impossible to observe at optical wavelengths. I use the Very Large Array of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory to make most of my observations of massive star forming regions in our Galaxy.
The College has been a member of the SARA consortium since 2005. The consortium operates two telescopes remotely, a 0.9-m at Kitt Peak and a 0.6-m at CTIO in Chile. In the past year, I have become interested in observations of exoplanetary transits, and will soon join the Transit Ephemeris Refinement and Monitoring Survey (TERMS) consortium. I am also active with the LIDAR project, a pulsed laser that is used in atmospheric sensing in an NSF-supported collaboration with GTRI (Georgia Tech Research Institute). The image above is a zenith view from the Observatory (day or night), and it updates each time you reload the page.
Popular Science Writing
I am interested in conveying astronomical discoveries to a wide audience, which has led me to do some popular science writing. I am co-author of the Complete Idiot's Guide to Astronomy (4th edition, 2008), and also co-author of Recent Advances and Issues in Astronomy and Van Nostrand's Concise Encyclopedia of Science (Wiley, 2003). I am also the author of Physics Made Simple (Doubleday, 2004).
Bradley Observatory at Agnes Scott College is located at the center of the Metro Atlanta Solar System (MASS), which is a scale model of the solar system. This model (MASS) connects the College to locations throughout the greater Atlanta area.
This fall, I am working with Melissa Hutcheson ('15) and Kimberly Luong ('15) on observations and analysis of exoplanetary transit data taken with the SARA telescopes. In addition, I am starting work with a group of student researchers who will be learning about massive star formation and radio interferometry as part of my NSF-supported research project. These students are Ashley Monsrud ('15), Melissa Hutcheson ('15), Kimberly Luong ('15), Linh Nguyen ('14) and Jasmine Heath ('16).
The following is a listing of some of my recently published scholarship:
1. Ionized Gas Kinematics and Morphology in Sgr B2 Main on 1000 AU Scales, C. G. De Pree, D. J. Wilner, W. M. Goss, 2011, 142, 177, The Astronomical Journal
2. A search for the transit of HD 168443b: Improved orbital parameters and photometry, Genady Pilyavsky, Suvrath Mahadevan, Stephen R. Kane, Andrew W. Howard, David R. Ciardi, Chris De Pree, Diana Dragomir, Debra Fischer, Gregory W. Henry, Eric L. N. Jensen, Gregory Laughlin, Hannah Marlowe, Markus Rabus, Kaspar von Braun, Jason T. Wright, 2011, The Astrophysical Journal, 743, 162
3. Exploring the Invisible Universe: A Tactile and Braille Exhibit of Astronomical Images, Kimberly Kowal Arcand, Megan Watzske, Chris De Pree, 2010, 8, 15, Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal
4. Massive star formation and feedback in W49A: the source of our Galaxy's most luminous water maser outflow, 2009, MNRAS, 399, 952, Nathan Smith, Barbara Whitney, Peter Conti, Chris G. De Pree, James M. Jackson
5. Spitzer IRAC and MIPS Imaging of Clusters and Outflows in Nine High-Mass Star Forming Regions, K. Qiu, Q. Zhang, S. T. Megeath, R. A. Gutermuth, H. Beuther, D. S. Shepherd, T. K. Sridharan, L. Testi, C. G. De Pree, 2008, The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 685, Issue 2, pp. 1005-1025
Questions or comments? Send me an emailDepartment of Physics and Astronomy