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

  • Application of the Monte Carlo method in modeling dusty gas, dust in plasma, and energetic ions in planetary, magnetospheric, and heliospheric environments. 

    Tenishev, Valeriy; Shou, Yinsi; Borovikov, Dmitry; Lee, Yuni; Fougere, Nicolas; Michael, Adam; Combi, Michael R. (AGU Pubication, 2021-01-13)
    Typical planetary and planetary satellite exospheres are in non‐equilibrium conditions, which means that a distribution function that describes these environments is far from Maxwellian. It is even more true when considering ...
  • Centrifugal Equator in Jupiter’s Plasma Sheet 

    Phipps, Phillip; Bagenal, Fran (AGU Pubication, 2020-12-27)
    In Jupiter’s magnetosphere, the structure of the plasma sheet depends on the magnetic field geometry and the centrifugal forces on the plasma. We present a simple formulation for the centrifugal equator, the farthest point ...
  • High-energy emission from a magnetar giant flare in the Sculptor galaxy 

    The Fermi-LAT Collaboration; M. Ajello; et al
    Magnetars are the most highly magnetized neutron stars in the cosmos (with magnetic field 10¹³–10¹⁵ G). Giant flares from magnetars are rare, short-duration (about 0.1 s) bursts of hard X-rays and soft γ rays1,2. Owing to ...
  • Identification of a Local Sample of Gamma-Ray Bursts Consistent with a Magnetar Giant Flare Origin 

    Burns, E.; Svinkin, D.; Hurley, K.; Wadiasingh, Z.; Negro, M.; Younes, G.; Hamburg, R.; Ridnaia, A.; Cook, D.; Cenko, S. B.; Aloisi, R.; Baring, M.; Briggs, M. S.; Christensen, N.; Frederiks, D.; Goldstein, A.; Hui, C. M.; Kaplan, D. L.; Kasliwal, M. M.; Kocevski, D.; Roberts, O. J.; Savchenko, V.; Tohuvavohu, A.; Veres, P.; Wilson-Hodge, C. A.
    Cosmological Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) are known to arise from distinct progenitor channels: short GRBs mostly from neutron star mergers and long GRBs from a rare type of core-collapse supernova (CCSN) called collapsars. ...
  • AstroPix: Investigating the Potential of Silicon Pixel Sensors in the Future of Gamma-ray Astrophysics 

    Brewer, Isabella; Caputo, Regina; Negro, Michela; Leys, Richard; Kierans, Carolyn; Peric, Ivan; Metcalfe, Jessica; Perkins, Jeremy
    This paper details preliminary photon measurements with the monolithic silicon detector ATLASPix, a pixel detector built and optimized for the CERN experiment ATLAS. The goal of this paper is to determine the promise of ...
  • Investigating γ-ray halos around three HAWC bright sources in Fermi-LAT data 

    Mauro, Mattia Di; Manconi, Silvia; Negro, Michela; Donato, Fiorenza
    Numerous extended sources around Galactic pulsars have shown significant γ-ray emission from GeV to TeV energies, revealing hundreds of TeV energy electrons scattering off of the underlying photon fields through inverse ...
  • Advanced fabrication technologies for ultraprecise replicated mirrors for x-ray telescopes 

    Mimura, Hidekazu; Yamaguchi, Gota; Kume, Takehiro; Takeo, Yoko; Ito, Akinari; Matsuzawa, Yusuke; Saito, Takahiro; Hiraguri, Kentarou; Takehara, Yusuke; Takigawa, Ayumu; Tamura, Keisuke; Kanoh, Tetsuo; Tachibana, Kenji; Hashizume, Hirokazu; Mitsuishi, Ikuyuki (SPIE, 2020-12-13)
    For many years, Wolter mirrors have been used as imaging elements in X-ray telescopes. The shape error of Wolter mirrors fabricated by replicating the shape of a mandrel originates from the replication error in electroforming. ...
  • Dying of the Light: An X-ray Fading Cold Quasar at z ~ 0.405 

    Cooke, Kevin C.; Kirkpatrick, Allison; Estrada, Michael; Messias, Hugo; Peca, Alessandro; Cappelluti, Nico; Ananna, Tonima Tasnim; Brewster, Jason; Glikman, Eilat; LaMassa, Stephanie; Leung, T. K. Daisy; Trump, Jonathan R.; Turner, Tracey Jane; Urry, C. Megan (IOP, 2020-11-06)
    Cold quasars are a rare subpopulation observed to host unobscured, X-ray luminous active galactic nuclei (AGN) while also retaining a cold gas supply fueling high star formation rates. These objects are interpreted as AGN ...
  • The cyclotron line energy in Her X-1: stable after the decay 

    Staubert, R.; Ducci, L.; Ji, L.; Fürst, F.; Wilms, J.; Rothschild, R.E.; Pottschmid, K.; Brumback, M.; Harrison, F. (2020-08-17)
    We summarize the results of a dedicated effort 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 the ...
  • The Impact of Background N₂ Pressure on the Habitability of Tidally Locked Rocky Exoplanets Around Cool Stars 

    Fauchez, Thomas J.; Wolf, Eric T.; Pidhorodetska, Daria; Kopparapu, Ravi K. (American Geophysical Union, 2019-06-24)
    Introduction: Rocky exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZ) of low mass stars will be prime targets for atmospheric characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Such planets are likely tidally locked and the ...
  • Detectability of Habitability Signatures on TRAPPIST-1e with Current and Future Ground- and Space-Based Observatories 

    Pidhorodetska, Daria; Fauchez, Thomas; Villanueva, Geronimo; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn (Copernicus, 2019-09-19)
  • The L 98-59 System: Three Transiting, Terrestrial-size Planets Orbiting a Nearby M Dwarf 

    Barclay, Thomas; Mukai, Koji; Pidhorodetska, Daria; et al. (IOP Publishing, 2019-06-27)
    We report the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) discovery of three terrestrial-size planets transiting L 98-59 (TOI-175, TIC 307210830)—a bright M dwarf at a distance of 10.6 pc. Using the Gaia-measured distance ...
  • Impact of Clouds and Hazes on the Simulated JWST Transmission Spectra of Habitable Zone Planets in the TRAPPIST-1 System 

    Fauchez, Thomas J.; Turbet, Martin; Villanueva, Geronimo L.; Wolf, Eric T.; Arney, Giada; Kopparapu, Ravi K.; Lincowski, Andrew; Mandell, Avi; Wit, Julien de; Pidhorodetska, Daria; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.; Stevenson, Kevin B. (IOP Publishing, 2019-12-19)
    The TRAPPIST-1 system, consisting of an ultracool host star having seven known Earth-sized planets, will be a prime target for atmospheric characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). However, the detectability ...
  • The First Habitable-zone Earth-sized Planet from TESS. I. Validation of the TOI-700 System 

    Barclay, Thomas; Paudel, Rishi R.; et al.; Pidhorodetska, Daria (IOP Publishing, 2020-08-14)
    We present the discovery and validation of a three-planet system orbiting the nearby (31.1 pc) M2 dwarf star TOI-700 (TIC 150428135). TOI-700 lies in the TESS continuous viewing zone in the Southern Ecliptic Hemisphere; ...
  • The next-generation X-ray galaxy survey with eROSITA 

    Basu-Zych, Antara R; Hornschemeier, Ann E; Haberl, Frank; Vulic, Neven; Wilms, Jörn; Zezas, Andreas; Kovlakas, Konstantinos; Ptak, Andrew; Dauser, Thomas (Oxford Academic, 2020-08-11)
    eROSITA, launched on 2019 July 13, will be completing the first all-sky survey in the soft and medium X-ray band in nearly three decades. This 4-yr survey, finishing in late 2023, will present a rich legacy for the entire ...
  • XMM-Newton observations of eleven intermediate polars and possible candidates 

    Wörpel, Hauke; Schwope, Axel; Traulsen, Iris; Mukai, Koji; Ok, Samet (EDP sciences, 2020-07-02)
    Aims. We aim to identify new intermediate polars (IPs) in XMM-Newton observations from a list of promising candidates. By selecting targets not previously known to be X-ray bright, we aim to uncover evidence for an X-ray ...
  • Detectability of Molecular Signatures on TRAPPIST-1e through Transmission Spectroscopy Simulated for Future Space-based Observatories 

    Pidhorodetska, Daria; Fauchez, Thomas J.; Villanueva, Geronimo L.; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.; Kopparapu, Ravi K. (IOP Publishing, 2020-07-28)
    Discoveries of terrestrial, Earth-sized exoplanets that lie within the habitable zone (HZ) of their host stars continue to occur at increasing rates. Transit spectroscopy can potentially enable the detection of molecular ...
  • L 98-59: A Benchmark System of Terrestrial Planets for Future Atmospheric Characterization 

    Pidhorodetska, Daria; Moran, Sarah; Fauchez, Thomas; Kopparapu, Ravi; Colon, Knicole; Quintana, Elisa; Villanueva, Geronimo; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn (Universities Space Research Association, 2020)
  • An X-ray spectral study of the origin of reflection features in bare Seyfert 1 galaxy ESO 511--G030 

    Ghosh, Ritesh; Laha, Sibasish (2020-12-19)
    The reprocessed X-ray emission from Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) is an important diagnostic tool to study the dynamics and geometry of the matter surrounding the supermassive black holes (SMBHs). We present a broadband ...
  • GRB 180418A: A possibly-short GRB with a wide-angle outflow in a faint host galaxy 

    Escorial, Alicia Rouco; Fong, Wen-fai; Veres, Peter; Laskar, Tanmoy; Lien, Amy; Paterson, Kerry; Lally, Maura; Blanchard, Peter K.; Nugent, Anya E.; Tanvir, Nial R.; Cornish, Dylaan; Berger, Edo; Burns, Eric; Cenko, Brad; Cobb, Bethany E.; Cucchiara, Antonio; Goldstein, Adam; Margutti, Raffaella; Metzger, Brian; Milne, Peter; Levan, Andrew; Nicholl, Matt; Smith, Nathan (2020-12-17)
    We present X-ray and multi-band optical observations of the afterglow and host galaxy of GRB 180418A, discovered by Swift/BAT and Fermi/GBM. We present a reanalysis of the GBM and BAT data deriving durations of the prompt ...

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