The Center for Space Sciences and Technology (CSST) is the administrative unit for UMBC’s participation in the CRESST consortium. The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), The University of Maryland College Park (UMCP), Catholic University, Howard University and Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) are our partners in the consortium.

The Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science & Technology (CRESST), is a cooperative agreement between the partner institutions. The CRESST consortium currently has over 120 PhD astronomers and astrophysicists working within the Astrophysics Science Division at GSFC.

CSST was formed in 2006 and currently has over 20 UMBC research faculty, several of which are affiliated to the physics department. The research conducted by the members of CSST focuses on (i) Astrophysical Data Reduction, Interpretation & Archiving, (ii) Space Science Technology: Development & Calibration, and (iii) Theoretical Astrophysics: Simulations & Software.

CSST maintains close relations with (and is housed within) the Physics Department at UMBC. Combined, UMBC astrophysics faculty and CSST scientists contribute to the Undergraduate & Graduate activities (including the Undergrad & Grad internships) by teaching & mentoring students.

Recent Submissions

  • Assessing reduced-dynamic parametrizations for GRAIL orbit determination and the recovery of independent lunar gravity field solutions 

    Bertone, Stefano; Arnold, Daniel; Girardin, Valère; Lasser, Martin; Meyer, Ulrich; Jäggi, Adrian (2020-11-02)
    Orbit determination of probes orbiting Solar System bodies is currently the main source of our knowledge about their internal structure, inferred from the estimate of their gravity field and rotational state. Non-gravitational ...
  • Effects of the 10 September 2017 Solar Flare on the Density and Composition of the Thermosphere of Mars 

    Cramer, A. G.; Withers, P.; Elrod, M. K.; Benna, M.; Mahaffy, P. R. (American Geophysical Union, 2020-10-10)
    The effects of solar flares on the upper atmosphere of Mars are large but poorly constrained by observations. These effects are an important aspect of the response of Mars to space weather events and may also influence the ...
  • Superorbital Modulation in the High-Mass X-ray Binary 4U 1538-52, and Possible Modulation in IGR J16393-4643 

    Corbet, Robin H. D.; Coley, Joel B.; Krimm, Hans A.; Pottschmidt, Katja; Roche, Paul
    Hard X-ray observations with the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) reveal superorbital modulation in the wind-accreting supergiant high-mass X-ray binary (HMXB) 4U 1538-52 at a period of 14.9130 ...
  • Electromagnetic Emission from a Binary Black Hole Merger Remnant in Plasma: Field Alignment and Plasma Temperature 

    Kelly, Bernard J.; Eteinne, Zachariah B.; Golomb, Jacob; Schnittman, Jeremy D.; Baker, John G.; Noble, Scott C.; Ryan, Geoffrey
    Comparable-mass black-hole mergers generically result in moderate to highly spinning holes, whose spacetime curvature will significantly affect nearby matter in observable ways. We investigate how the moderate spin of a ...
  • On the X-ray Spectral Energy Distributions of Star-Forming Galaxies: the 0.3–30 keV Spectrum of the Low-Metallicity Starburst Galaxy VV 114 

    Garofali, Kristen; Lehmer, Bret D.; Basu-Zych, Antara; West, Lacey A.; Wik, Daniel; Yukita, Mihoko; Vulic, Neven; Ptak, Andrew; Hornschemeier, Ann (2020-09-18)
    Binary population synthesis combined with cosmological models suggest that X-ray emission from star-forming galaxies, consisting primarily of emission from X-ray binaries (XRBs) and the hot interstellar medium (ISM), could ...
  • Double-Sided Silicon Strip Detectors for Next-Generation Gamma-ray Telescopes 

    Cannady, Nick; Krizmanic, John; Ojha, Roopesh; Zajczyk, Anna; et al
    This Letter of Intent describes the motivation for the continued development of double-sided silicon strip detectors (DSSDs). Silicon detectors have a long history of groundbreaking measurements in astroparticle physics, ...
  • Gamma-ray Scintillator Fiber Tracker 

    Cannady, N. W.; Caputo, R.; Venere, L. Di; Fusco, P.; Gargano, F.; Giglietto, N.; Giordano, F.; Hartmann, D. H.; Kierans, C.; Longo, F.; Loparco, F.; Rando, R.
    We plan to develop and implement a novel ultralight tracker based on scintillating fibers with a spatial resolution below 100 μm, also able to perform precise timing and charge measurements. The fibers will be arranged in ...
  • NuSTAR observation of GRO J1744−28 at low mass accretion rate 

    König, O.; Fürst, F.; Kretschmar, P.; Ballhausen, R.; Sokolova-Lapa, E.; Dauser, T.; Sánchez-Fernández, C.; Hemphill, P. B.; Wolff, M. T.; Pottschmidt, K.; Wilms, J. (2020-09-16)
    We present the spectral analysis of the LMXB GRO J1744-28 using ∼29 ks of NuSTAR data taken in 2017 February at a low luminosity of 3.2×10³⁶ erg/s (3-50 keV). The continuum spectrum is modeled with an absorbed power-law ...
  • The lively accretion disk in NGC 2992. I. Transient iron K emission lines in the high flux state 

    Marinucci, A.; Bianchi, S.; Braito, V.; De Marco, B.; Matt, G.; Middei, R.; Nardini, E.; Reeves, J. N. (2020-06-09)
    We report on one of the brightest flux levels of the Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 2992 ever observed in X-rays, on May 2019. The source has been monitored every few days from March 26, 2019 to December 14, 2019 by Swift-XRT, and ...
  • Optical spectroscopy and X-ray observations of the D-type symbiotic star EF Aql 

    Stoyanov, K. A.; Iłkiewicz, K.; Luna, G. J. M.; Mikołajewska, J.; Mukai, K.; Martí, J.; Latev, G.; Boeva, S.; Zamanov, R. K. (2020-05-07)
    We performed high-resolution optical spectroscopy and X-ray observations of the recently identified Mira-type symbiotic star EF Aql. Based on high-resolution optical spectroscopy obtained with SALT, we determine the ...
  • Upstream Ultra‐Low Frequency Waves Observed by MESSENGER's Magnetometer: Implications for Particle Acceleration at Mercury's Bow Shock 

    Romanelli, N.; DiBraccio, G.; Gershman, D.; Le, G.; Mazelle, C.; Meziane, K.; Boardsen, S.; Slavin, J.; Raines, J.; Glass, A.; Espley, J. (American Geophysical Union, 2020-04-09)
    We perform the first statistical analysis of the main properties of waves observed in the 0.05–0.41 Hz frequency range in the Hermean foreshock by the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) ...
  • Three short-period Jupiters from TESS 

    Nielsen, L. D.; Brahm, R.; Bouchy, F.; Espinoza, N.; Turner, O.; Rappaport, S.; Pearce, L.; Ricker, G.; Vanderspek, R.; Latham, D. W.; Seager, S.; Winn, J. N.; Jenkins, J. M.; Acton, J. S.; Bakos, G.; Barclay, T.; Barkaoui, K.; Bhatti, W.; Briceño, C.; Bryant, E. M.; Burleigh, M. R.; Ciardi, D. R.; Collins, K. A.; Collins, K. I.; Cooke, B. F.; Csubry, Z.; dos Santos, L. A.; Eigmüller, Ph.; Fausnaugh, M. M.; Gan, T.; Gillon, M.; Goad, M. R.; Guerrero, N.; Hagelberg, J.; Hart, R.; Henning, T.; Huang, C. X.; Jehin, E.; Jenkins, J. S.; Jordán, A.; Kielkopf, J. F.; Kossakowski, D.; Lavie, B.; Law, N.; Lendl, M.; de Leon, J. P.; Lovis, C.; Mann, A. W.; Marmier, M.; McCormac, J.; Mori, M.; Moyano, M.; Narita, N.; Osip, D.; Otegi, J. F.; Pepe, F.; Pozuelos, F. J.; Raynard, L.; Relles, H. M.; Sarkis, P.; Ségransan, D.; Seidel, J. V.; Shporer, A.; Stalport, M.; Stockdale, C.; Suc, V.; Tamura, M.; Tan, T. G.; Tilbrook, R. H.; Ting, E. B.; Trifonov, T.; Udry, S.; Vanderburg, A.; Wheatley, P. J.; Wingham, G.; Zhan, Z.; Ziegler, C. (EDP Sciences, 2020-07-13)
    We report the confirmation and mass determination of three hot Jupiters discovered by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission: HIP 65Ab (TOI-129, TIC-201248411) is an ultra-short-period Jupiter orbiting a ...
  • Cyclotron line energy in Hercules X-1: stable after the decay 

    Staubert, R.; Ducci, L.; Ji, L.; Fürst, F.; Wilms, J.; Rothschild, R.E.; Pottschmidt, K.; Brumback, M.; Harrison, F. (EDP sciences, 2020-08-14)
    We summarize the results of a dedicated effort made between 2012 and 2019 to follow the evolution of the cyclotron line in Her X-1 through repeated NuSTAR observations. The previously observed nearly 20-year-long decay of ...
  • Next-Generation Geodesy at the Lunar South Pole: An Opportunity Enabled by the Artemis III Crew 

    Viswanathan, Vishnu; Mazarico, Erwan; Merkowitz, Stephen; Sun, Xiaoli; Eubanks, Thomas Marshall; Smith, David Edmund (2020-09-08)
    Lunar retro-reflector arrays (LRAs) consisting of corner-cube reflectors (CCRs) placed on the nearside of the Moon during the Apollo era have demonstrated their longevity, cost-effectiveness, ease of deployment, and most ...
  • Formation pathway for lonely stripped-envelope supernova progenitors: implications for Cassiopeia A 

    Hirai, Ryosuke; Sato, Toshiki; Podsiadlowski, Philipp; Vigna-Gómez, Alejandro; Mandel, Ilya (Oxford University Press, 2020-09-23)
    We explore a new scenario for producing stripped-envelope supernova progenitors. In our scenario, the stripped-envelope supernova is the second supernova of the binary, in which the envelope of the secondary was removed ...
  • Gamma-ray emission in radio galaxies under the VLBI scope II. The relationship between gamma-ray emission and parsec-scale jets in radio galaxies 

    Angioni, R.; Ros, E.; Kadler, M.; Ojha, R.; Mueller, C.; Edwards, P.G.; Burd, P.R.; Carpenter, B.; Dutka, M. S.; Gulyaev, S.; Hase, H.; Horiuchi, S.; Krauss, F.; Lovell, J.E.J.; Natusch, T.; Phillips, C.; Ploetz, C.; Quick, J. F. H.; Roesch, F.; Schulz, R.; Stevens, J.; Tzioumis, A. K.; Weston, S.; Wilms, J.; Zensus, J. A. (EDP sciences, 2020-07-20)
    Aims. This is the second paper in our series studying the evolution of parsec-scale radio emission in radio galaxies in the Southern Hemisphere. Following our study of the radio and high-energy properties of γ-ray-emitting ...
  • Dust and gas absorption in the high mass X-ray binary IGR J16318−4848 

    Ballhausen, Ralf; Lorenz, Maximilian; Fürst, Felix; Pottschmidt, Katja; Corrales, Lia; Tomsick, John A.; Kühnel, Matthias Bissinger né; Kretschmar, Peter; Kallman, Timothy R.; Grinberg, Victoria; Hell, Natalie; Psadaraki, Ioanna; Rogantini, Daniele; Wilms, Jörn (EDP sciences, 2020-07-02)
    Context. With an absorption column density on the order of 1024 cm−2, IGR J16318−4848 is one of the most extreme cases of a highly obscured high mass X-ray binary. In addition to the overall continuum absorption, the source ...
  • Extending Science from Lunar Laser Ranging 

    Viswanathan, Vishnu; Mazarico, Erwan; Merkowitz, Stephen; Williams, James G.; Turyshev, Slava G.; Currie, Douglas G.; Ermakov, Anton I.; Rambaux, Nicolas; Fienga, Agnès; Courde, Clément; Chabé, Julien; Torre, Jean-Marie; Bourgoin, Adrien; Schreiber, Ulrich; Eubanks, Thomas M.; Wu, Chensheng; Dequal, Daniele; Agnello, Simone Dell; Biskupek, Liliane; Müller, Jürgen; Kopeikin, Sergei (2020-08-21)
    The Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) experiment has accumulated 50 years of range data of improving accuracy from ground stations to the laser retroreflector arrays (LRAs) on the lunar surface. The upcoming decade offers several ...
  • A Recipe for Geophysical Exploration of Enceladus 

    Ermakov, Anton I.; Castillo-Rogez, Julie C.; Park, Ryan S.; Sotin, Christophe; Lazio, Joseph; Howell, Samuel M.; Keane, James T.; Hemingway, Douglas J.; Nimmo, Francis; Kite, Edwin; Viswanathan, Vishnu; Steinbrügge, Gregor; Tobie, Gabriel; Lainey, Valery (2020-08-06)
    Orbital geophysical investigations of Enceladus are critical to understand its energy balance. Mapping Enceladus' gravity field, improving the accuracy of the physical libration amplitude, and measuring Enceladus' tidal ...

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