Michael F Corcoran


Michael F Corcoran

  • 301.286.5576 | 301.286.1629
  • Mail Code: 662
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: USRA
  • Curriculum Vitae

    Brief Bio

    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. Mike'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 behavior via analysis of UV spectral lines. After finishing his tenure 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 went to work for Universities Space Research Association and joined the ROSAT Guest Observer Facility at GSFC as lead archive scientist. In 1993 Mike joined the HEASARC, and now serves as the manager of the HEASARC Calibration Database and HEASARC archive scientist for the GLAST mission, in addition to his continuing duties as ROSAT archive scientist. In 2008 Mike became USRA Associate Director for the Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science and Technology (CRESST).


    Observational X-ray Astrophysics; Stellar Coronae; Colliding Winds


    GLAST HEASARC Archive Scientist
    HEASARC Calibration Database Manager
    HETE-2 HEASARC Archive Scientist
    X-ray Studies of Eta Carinae and other Massive Stars

    Positions and Appointments

    1991 - Research Scientist, High Energy Astrophysics Science
    Archive Research Center, USRA/NASA
    1997 - Adjunct Faculty, George Washington University
    1999 - Course Coordinator, Astronomy 191, George Washington University
    2008 - USRA Director, Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science and Technology (CRESST)

    Teaching Experience

    Graduate Student Supervision

    1992 -Jose Suarez, Florida Institute of Technology

    1993 - Jennifer Catelli, U. Maryland

    1994 - Sven Geier, U. Maryland

    1996 - 1999 Kazunori Ishibashi, U. Minnesota (M. Sc., Ph. D.)

    1999 - Amy Fredericks, U. Maryland

    2000 - Laura Brenneman, USRA

    2003 - Gary Price, Richard Stockton College
    Postdoctoral Supervision

    2001 - Dr. Aaron Flores
    2002 - Dr. Kenji Hamaguchi


    1988-- Ph.D. Astrophysics, University of Pennsylvania
    1982-- BA. Physics, Cornell


    Selected Publications
    "Increasing X-ray emissions and periodic outbursts from the massive star eta Carinae", Corcoran, M. F., Ishibashi, K., Swank, J. H., Davidson, K., Petre, R. Schmitt, J. H. M. M., 1997, Nature, 390, 587.

    "The ASCA X-ray Spectrum of Eta Carinae", M. F. Corcoran, R. Petre, J. H. Swank, S. A. Drake, K. Koyama, Y. Tsuboi, R. Viotti, A. Damineli, K. Davidson, K. Ishibashi, S. White, and D. Currie, 1998, ApJ, 494, 381.

    "Recurrent X-Ray Emission Variations of Eta Carinae and the Binary Hypothesis", K. Ishibashi, M. F. Corcoran, K. Davidson, J. H. Swank, R. Petre, S. A. Drake, A. Damineli, and S. White, 1999, ApJ, 524, 983.

    "The X-Ray Light Curve of Eta Carinae: Refinement of the Orbit and Evidence for Phase-dependent Mass Loss", M. F. Corcoran, K. Ishibashi, J. H. Swank, and R. Petre, 2001, ApJ, 547, 1034.

    "X-Rays and Protostars in the Trifid Nebula", Jeonghee Rho, Michael F. Corcoran, You-Hua Chu, and William T. Reach, 2001, ApJ, 562, 446

    "The CHANDRA HETGS X-ray Grating Spectrum of Η Carinae", M. F. Corcoran, J. H. Swank, R. Petre, K. Ishibashi, K. Davidson, L. Townsley, R. Smith, S. White, R. Viotti, & A. Damineli, 2001, ApJ, 562, 1031

    "In hot pursuit of the hidden companion of eta Carinae: An X-ray determination of the wind parameters", J. M. Pittard and M. F. Corcoran, 2002, A&A, 383, 636.

    "BeppoSAX broad X-ray range observations of eta Carinae during high and low spectroscopic states", R. F. Viotti, L. A. Antonelli, M. F. Corcoran, A. Damineli, P. Grandi, J. M. Muller, S. Rebecchi, C. Rossi, & M. Villada, 2002 A&A, 385, 874

    "The massive double-lined O-type binary HD 165052", Arias, J. I., Morrell, N. I., Barbá, R. H., Bosch, G. L., Grosso, M., Corcoran, M., 2002, MNRAS, 333, 202

    "Australia Telescope Compact Array Radio Imaging of the Proplyd-like Objects in the Giant H II Region NGC 3603", Mücke, A., Koribalski, B. S., Moffat, A. F. J., Corcoran, M. F., Stevens, I. R., 2002, ApJ, 571, 366

    "High Resolution X-ray Imaging of the Colliding Wind Shock in WR147", J. M. Pittard, I. R. Stevens, P. M. Williams, A. M. T. Pollock, S. L. Skinner, M. F. Corcoran, and A. F. J. Moffat, 2002, A&A, 388, 335

    "Galactic Starburst NGC 3603 from X-Rays to Radio", A. F. J. Moffat, M. F. Corcoran, I. R. Stevens, G. Skalkowski, S. V. Marchenko, A. Mücke, A. Ptak, B. S. Koribalski, L. Brenneman, R. Mushotzky, J. M. Pittard, A. M. T. Pollock, and W. Brandner, 2002, ApJ, 575, 191

    "An X-Ray Investigation of the NGC 346 Field in the Small Magellanic Cloud I. The Luminous Blue Variable HD 5980 and the NGC 346 Cluster", Yael Naze, J. M. Hartwell, I. R. Stevens, M. F. Corcoran, Y.-H. Chu, G. Koenigsberger, A. F. J. Moffat, and V. S. Niemela, 2002, ApJ, 580, 225

    "An X-Ray Investigation of the NGC 346 Field in the Small Magellanic Cloud. II. The Field Population", Nazé, Y., J. M. Hartwell, I. R. Stevens, J. Manfroid, S. Marchenko, M. F. Corcoran, A. F. J. Moffat, and G. Skalkowski, 2003, ApJ, 983

    "An XMM-Newton observation of the Lagoon Nebula and the very young open cluster NGC 6530",Rauw, G., Y. Nazé, E. Gosset, I. R. Stevens, R. Blomme, M. F. Corcoran, J. M. Pittard, and M. C. Runacres, 2002, A&A, 499

    "A multi-wavelength investigation of the non-thermal radio emitting O-star 9 Sgr",Rauw, G., R. Blomme, W. L. Waldron, M. F. Corcoran, J. M. Pittard, A. M. T. Pollock, M. C. Runacres, H. Sana, I. R. Stevens, and S. Van Loo, 2002, A&A, 993

    "Chandra Grating Spectroscopy of the X-Ray Binary 4U 1700-37 in a Flaring State", Bram Boroson, Saeqa Dil Vrtilek, Timothy Kallman, & Michael Corcoran, 2003, ApJ, 592, 516

    "CHANDRA/VLA Follow-up of TeV J2032+4131, the Only Unidentified TeV Gamma-ray Source", Yousaf M. Butt, Paula Benaglia, Jorge A. Combi, Michael Corcoran, Thomas M. Dame, Jeremy Drake, Marina Kaufman Bernadó, Peter Milne, Francesco Miniati, Martin Pohl, Olaf Reimer, Gustavo E.
    Romero, Michael Rupen, 2003, ApJ, 597, 494

    "Chandra Observations of a Young Embedded Magnetic B Star in the Rho Ophiuchus Cloud", Kenji Hamaguchi, Michael F. Corcoran, & Kensuke Imanishi, 2003, PASJ, 55, 981.

    "A spectral and spatial analysis of Carinae's diffuse X-ray emission using CHANDRA", K. Weis, M. F. Corcoran, D. J. Bomans, and K. Davidson 2004, A&A, 415, 595.

    "Kinematics and Ultraviolet to Infrared Morphology of the Inner Homunculus of Carinae", Nathan Smith, Jon A. Morse, Theodore R. Gull, D. John Hillier, Robert D. Gehrz, Nolan R. Walborn, Manuel Bautista, Nicholas R. Collins, Michael F. Corcoran, Augusto Damineli, Fred Hamann, Henrik Hartman, Sveneric Johansson, Otmar Stahl, and Kerstin Weis, 2004, ApJ, 605, 405.

    "Chandra Observation of the Trifid Nebula: X-Ray Emission from the O Star Complex and Actively Forming Pre-Main-Sequence Stars", Jeonghee Rho, Solange V. Ramirez, Michael F. Corcoran, Kenji Hamaguchi, & Betrand Lefloch, 2004, ApJ, 607, 405.

    "An X-Ray Investigation of the NGC 346 Field in the Small Magellanic Cloud. III. XMM-Newton Data", Yaël Nazé, Jean Manfroid, Ian R. Stevens, Michael F. Corcoran, and Aaron Flores, 2004, ApJ, 608, 208.

    "Waiting in the Wings: Reflected X-Ray Emission from the Homunculus Nebula", M. F. Corcoran, K. Hamaguchi, T. Gull, K. Davidson, R. Petre, D. J. Hillier, N. Smith, A. Damineli, J. A. Morse, N. R. Walborn, E. Verner, N. Collins, S. White, J. M. Pittard, K. Weis, D. Bomans, and Y. Butt, 2004, ApJ, 613, 381.

    "A Period and a Prediction for the Of?p Spectrum Alternator HD 191612", Nolan R. Walborn, Ian D. Howarth, Gregor Rauw, Daniel J. Lennon, Howard E. Bond, Ignacio Negueruela, Yaël Nazé, Michael F. Corcoran, Artemio Herrero, and Anne Pellerin, 2004, ApJ, 617, L61.

    "A Change in the Physical State of Eta Carinae?",K. Davidson, J. Martin, R. M. Humphreys, K. Ishibashi, T. R. Gull, O. Stahl, K. Weis, D. J. Hillier, A. Damineli, M. Corcoran, & F. Hamann, 2005, AJ, 129, 900.

    "X-Ray Monitoring of Eta Carinae: Variations on a Theme", M. F. Corcoran, 2005, AJ, 129, 2018 (electronic version of Table 2, RXTE PCU lightcurve, 1996-2004)

    "Discovery of Extremely Embedded X-Ray Sources in the R Coronae Australis Star-forming Core", Kenji Hamaguchi, Michael F. Corcoran, Rob Petre, Nicholas E. White, Beate Stelzer, Ko Nedachi, Naoto Kobayashi, and Alan T. Tokunaga, 2005, ApJ, 623, 291.

    "Bulk Velocities, Chemical Composition, and Ionization Structure of the X-Ray Shocks in WR 140 near Periastron as Revealed by the Chandra Gratings", A. M. T. Pollock, Michael F. Corcoran, Ian R. Stevens, and P. M. Williams, 2005, ApJ, 629, 482.

    "Discovery of CH and OH in the -513 km s-1 Ejecta of eta Carinae", E. Verner, F. Bruhweiler, K. E. Nielsen, T. R. Gull, G. Vieira Kober, and M. Corcoran, 2005, ApJ, 629, 1034.

    "Evidence for colliding winds in WR 25 from XMM-Newton observations of X-ray variability", A. M. T. Pollock and M. F. Corcoran, 2006, A&A, 445, 1093.

    "The UV Scattering Halo of the Central Source Associated with Η Carinae", D. J. Hillier, T. Gull, K. Nielsen, G. Sonneborn, R. Iping, N. Smith, M. F. Corcoran, A. Damineli, F. W. Hamann, J. C. Martin, and K. Weis, 2006, ApJ, 642, 1098.

    "First Detection of Phase-dependent Colliding Wind X-Ray Emission outside the Milky Way", Y. Nazé, M. F. Corcoran, G. Koenigsberger, A. F. J. Moffat, 2007, ApJ, 658, L25.

    "Η Carinae across the 2003.5 Minimum: Spectroscopic Evidence for Massive Binary Interactions" K. E. Nielsen, M. F. Corcoran, T. R. Gull, D. J. Hillier, K. Hamaguchi, S. Ivarsson, and D. J. Lindler, 2007, ApJ, 660, 669.

    "X-Ray Spectral Variation of Η Carinae through the 2003 X-Ray Minimum" Kenji Hamaguchi, Michael F. Corcoran, Theodore Gull, Kazunori Ishibashi, Julian M. Pittard, D. John Hillier, Augusto Damineli, Kris Davidson, Krister E. Nielsen, Gladys Kober Vieira, 2007, ApJ, 663, 522.

    "Detection of Gamma-Ray Emission from the Eta-Carinae Region", M. Tavani, S. Sabatini, E. Pian, A. Bulgarelli, P. Caraveo, R.~F. Viotti, M.~F. Corcoran, A. Giuliani, C. Pittori, F. Verrecchia, S. Vercellone, S. Mereghetti, A. Argan, G. Barbiellini, F. Boffelli, P.~W. Cattaneo, A.~W. Chen, V. Cocco, F. D'Ammando, E. Costa, G. DeParis, E. Del Monte, G. di Cocco, I. Donnarumma, Y. Evangelista, A. Ferrari, M. Feroci, M. Fiorini, T. Froysland, F. Fuschino, M. Galli, F. Gianotti, C. Labanti, I. Lapshov, F. Lazzarotto, P. Lipari, F. Longo, M. Marisaldi, M. Mastropietro, E. Morelli, E. Moretti, A. Morselli, L. Pacciani, A. Pellizzoni, F. Perotti, G. Piano, P. Picozza, M. Pilia, G. Porrovecchio, G. Pucella, M. Prest, M. Rapisarda, A. Rappoldi, A. Rubini, P. Soffitta, M. Trifoglio, A. Trois, E. Vallazza, V. Vittorini, A. Zambra, D. Zanello, P. Santolamazza, P. Giommi, S. Colafrancesco, L.~A. Antonelli, and L. Salotti, 2009, ApJ, 698, L142-L146

    "3D modelling of the colliding winds in Η Carinae - evidence for radiative inhibition", E.~R. Parkin, J.~M. Pittard, M.~F. Corcoran, K. Hamaguchi, and I.~R. Stevens, 2009, MNRAS, 394, 1758

    "The extended interacting wind structure of Eta Carinae", T.~R. Gull, K.~E. Nielsen, M.~F. Corcoran, T.~I. Madura, S.~P. Owocki, C.~M.~P. Russell, D.~J. Hillier, K. Hamaguchi, G.~V. Kober, K. Weis, O. Stahl, and A.~T. Okazaki, 2009, MNRAS, 396, 1308

    "Understanding the X-ray Flaring from Η Carinae", A. F. J. Moffat, and M. F. Corcoran, 2009, ApJ, 707, 693
    Publications at the ADS website.

    Talks, Presentations and Posters

    Invited Lectures

    1993 - "The Carina Nebula in X-rays", given at "The Eta Carina Region - A Laboratory for Stellar Astrophysics", Universidad Nacional de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina

    1995 - "X-ray Emission from Colliding Wind Binaries", given at the "Workshop on Colliding Winds in Binary Stars", Universidad Nacional de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina

    1996 - "X-ray Variability of Eta Carinae", at "Luminous Blue Variables - Massive Stars in Transition" Kona, HI

    1997 - "X-ray Emission from Open Clusters", at "Hot Stars in Open Clusters of the Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds", Universidad Nacional de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina

    1998 - "Resolving X-ray Spectral Variations in Eta Carinae", Eta Carinae at the Millenium, Gallatin Gateway, MT, July 19th - 23rd 1998

    1998 - "Resolving X-ray Emission in Eta Carinae", Eta Carinae at the Millenium, Gallatin Gateway, MT, July 19th - 23rd 1998

    2000 - "Solving the X-ray Lightcurve of Eta Car", Eta Car and Other Mysterious Stars, Hven, Sweden, Aug 24th-26th 2000

    2001 - "The CHANDRA HETGS X-ray Grating Spectrum of Eta Carinae", Two Years of Science with CHANDRA, Washington DC, September 5-7 2001

    2002 - "X-ray observations of massive colliding wind binaries", A Massive Star Odyssey, from Main Sequence to Supernova, IAU Symposium 212, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, 24-28 June 2002

    2002 - "X-ray Variability of Eta Carinae", Eta Carinae: Reading the Legend, Mount Rainier, WA, 11-13 July 2002

    2003 - "X-rays of a Monster Star: Eta Car Approaching The X-ray Eclipse", HEAD 2003 Meeting: High Energy Astrophysics in the "Beyond Einstein" Era, 23-26 March, 2003, at Mt. Tremblant, Quebec

    2003 - "X-raying a Stellar Monster", Oklahoma University, Norman OK, 19 Sep, 2003

    2004 - "X-raying a Stellar Monster", National Capital Astronomers, 3 Jan 2004

    2004 - "Multi-Wavelength Observations of Colliding Stellar Winds", X-Ray and Radio Connections, Santa Fe, NM, 3-6 Feb, 2004 (ppt or pdf)

    2004 - "The Last X-ray Eclipse of Eta Carinae", Penn State University, State College, PA, 22 Sep 2004 (pdf)

    2004 - "X-rays from an Imposter", "The Fate of the Most Massive Stars", May 23-28 2004, Jackson Lake Lodge, Jackson Hole, WY

    2004 - "X-ray Gyrations of Eta Car, or, Is Presence of Evidence Evidence of Presence?", "Massive Stars in Interacting Binaries", August 16-20 2004, Lake Sacacomie, Quebec

    2006 - "High Energy Diagnostics of the Circumstellar Medium around Eta Carinae", "Circumstellar Media and Late Stages of Massive Stellar Evolution", September 4-8, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

    2006 - "Eta Carinae and other LBVs", "Massive Stars: Fundamental Parameters and Circumstellar Interactions", December 11-14, Cariló, Argentina

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