Dr. Mike Corcoran

Employer: Universities Space Research Association
Job Description: Astrophysicist
Phone: (301) 286-5576
e-mail: corcoran@lheavx.gsfc.nasa.gov

Mike Corcoran received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1988, where, as a graduate student in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, he learned the (often frustrating) art of visible-band photometry and polarimetry. Mikes's thesis was an attempt to explore the importance of non-sphericity of winds from hot, massive stars by looking for a residual polarimetric signal in the photospheric radiation scattered by the wind material. As a result of this work, Mike became convinced of three things: that the assumption of spherical symmetry applied to winds from hot stars is, in general, unphysical; that disturbances in stellar winds can have observable effects throughout the electromagnetic spectrum; and that an unheated telescope dome gets pretty cold in winter.

Moving indoors, in 1988 Mike found a job at NASA/GSFC as a post-doc with Advanced Computer Concepts (ACC) studying stellar wind behaviour via analysis of UV spectral lines. After finishing uhis tenue at ACC in 1989, Mike inverse-Compton scattered his way to an NRC post-doc at the X-ray group at GSFC.

In 1991 Mike joined the ROSAT Guest Observer Facility at GSFC as lead archive scientist, and in 1993 joined the HEASARC to continue the task of ensuring the community's safe, convenient and timely access to ROSAT data.

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