Investigating the Late-Time Spectra of Supernovae

I am working with Professor Robert Fesen and my disseration is focused on the investigation of the late-time spectral evolution of supernovae. Because a supernova's brightness fades pretty quickly, gathering data even 100 days after the supernova's peak brightness has been difficult. As technology has advenced, so has our ability to follow SN out to late epochs: 100 - 1000+ days post max brightness! Investigating these late-time epochs provides the opportunity to probe the central regions of these explosions and thus build our understanding of the progenitor stars' environment and shed light on how stars explode.

There is not just one type of supernova. Supernovae are separated into two distinct groups: those that do not have Hydrogen in their specrum (Type I) and those that do (Type II). These types are then divided into sub groups, e.g. Type Ia, Ib, Ic and Type IIP, IIL, and IIn. My work focuses mainly on Type Ia supernovae, though I do a bit of work on Type II's as well.

I also do a little work on supernova remnants with my advisor and an undergraduate. I have spent dozens of nights operating 2.4m and 1.3m class telescopes and taking data - both direct imaging and spectroscopy.

A Sample of My Work

Progressive Redshifts in the Late-Time Spectra of Type Ia Supernovae

Black, Fesen, Parrent. MNRAS. 2016

Another Look at the Size of the Low-Surface Brightness Galaxy VCC 1661 in the Virgo Cluster

Koch, Black, Rich Accepted Astron. Nachr. 2016

Discovery of an Apparent High Latitude Galactic Supernova Remnant

Fesen, Neustadt, Black, Koeppel. ApJ. 2015

A 3D Kinematic Study of the Northern Ejecta 'Jet' of the Crab Nebula

Black, Fesen. MNRAS. 2015

Presentations and Posters

Black, C., Fesen, R. A., & Parrent, J. Progressive Redshifts in the Late-Time Spectra of Type Ia Supernovae 229th AAS 2017 Talk
Neustadt, J., Fesen, R. A., & Black, C. Optical Observations of Galactic Supernova Remnant G64.5+0.9 229th AAS 2017 Poster
Black, C. & Fesen, R. A. A 3D Kinematic Study of the Northern Ejecta 'Jet' of the Crab Nebula 225th AAS 2015 Poster
Black, C., Koch, A., & Rich, R. M. A New, Smaller Size For The Low-Surface Brightness Galaxy VCC 1661 In The Virgo Cluster 221st AAS 2013 Poster
Schaul, D., Rich, R. M., Black, C. et. al. The Local Universe at 30 ma/sq arcsec: Extended Stellar Halos Around Nearby Galaxies 221st AAS 2013 Poster
Black, C., Rich, R. M., Longstaff, F., & Reitzel, D. B. NGC4449B: A New Extreme Tidally Disrupting Dwarf Galaxy Near NGC4449 219st AAS 2012 Poster
Baker, R. M L & Black, C. S. Radiation Pattern for a Multiple-Element HFGW Generator SPESIF 2009 Talk

Teaching Experience

While at Dartmouth I have been a Teaching Assistant for the following courses:

I also volunteer at the Montshire Museum of Science every week as an 'Explainer'. I explain exhibits to the visitors, demonstrate various interactive exhibits, and lead weekly science activities


Public Observing at Dartmouth College

Host weekly observing for the public using the college's 12in telescopes.

Dartmouth's Shattuck Observatory is the dome on the right and public observing buildings are on the left


Earth & Space Day at the Montshire Museum

Organized, participated in, and ran various astronomy based activities including 'Pocket Solar System' and 'Stellar Forensics'.

I am explaining what comets are made of to the guests and showing them our own 'comet' in our 'Making a Comet' activity.


Science & Engineering Festival 2014

Participated & ran our astronomy booth - Observing Techniques in Astronomy. D.C. --- April 25-27

Our booth with our 'Stellar Forensics' activity.

About Me!

Outside of astronomy, I like to spend my free time hiking, skiing, and baking and I dabble in rock climbing, kayaking, snowshoeing - really any seasonal outdoor activity. I really love to travel - the picture to the right was taken on the Tasman Pennisula in Tasmania, Australia. I am also a certified SCUBA diver (recreational deep diver).

Get In Touch

If you would like to get a hold of me, I can be reached here: