Lucy Fortson

Associate Professor, University of Minnesota School of Physics and Astronomy

Ph.D., Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, 1991
Contact Information
WWW: Web Site
VERITAS array at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory near Tucson, AZ.

Image credit: S. Criswell, FLWO
High Energy Astrophysics
My research interests are in experimental high-energy astrophysics. As a member of the VERITAS (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System), I study gamma rays detected from active galactic nuclei. Gamma-ray astronomy probes the extreme physics of systems such as the black holes at the centers of active galaxies. These systems emit radiation throughout the electromagnetic spectrum and I work to combine the information obtained from telescopes operating at multiple wavelengths to decipher how the active galaxy powers the emission of gamma rays. I am also working on the next generation ground-based gamma ray array, AGIS (Advanced Gamma-ray Imaging System) comprising ~50 telescopes in an array with the aim of greatly improving the angular resolution and sensitivity to high energy gamma ray emission.

Galaxy Zoo and Zooniverse Citizen Science Projects
I am also a member of the Zooniverse collaboration which is a collection of online research projects that require human pattern matching abilities to sort through the millions of images and other data products being generated by telescopes, ocean sensors, satellites and digitized texts. I work particularly with Galaxy Zoo data where over 250,000 members of the general public have provided a highly accurate classification of a million galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. I am currently studying a sample of barred galaxies derived from Galaxy Zoo to study the relationship between active galactic nuclei and galactic bars.

Ongoing Scientific Projects:
KICP Highlights & News
Talks, Lectures, & Workshops
KICP Publications
2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002

Latest Journal Publications
  1. "Very-High-Energy $gamma$-Ray Observations of the Blazar 1ES 2344+514 with VERITAS", arXiv:1708.02829 (Aug 2017)
  2. "Multiband variability studies and novel broadband SED modeling of Mrk 501 in 2009", Astronomy & Astrophysics, Volume 603, id.A31, 30 pp (Jul 2017)
  3. "Gamma-ray observations under bright moonlight with VERITAS", Astroparticle Physics, Volume 91, p. 34-43 (May 2017)
  4. "Dark matter constraints from a joint analysis of dwarf Spheroidal galaxy observations with VERITAS", Physical Review D, Volume 95, Issue 8, id.082001 (Apr 2017)
  5. "Search for Magnetically Broadened Cascade Emission from Blazars with VERITAS", The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 835, Issue 2, article id. 288, 12 pp. (2017) (Feb 2017)
  6. "A Luminous and Isolated Gamma-Ray Flare from the Blazar B2 1215+30", The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 836, Issue 2, article id. 205, 6 pp. (2017) (Feb 2017)
  7. "Gamma-Ray Observations of Tycho’s Supernova Remnant with VERITAS and Fermi", The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 836, Issue 1, article id. 23, 8 pp. (2017) (Feb 2017)
  8. "Multiwavelength follow-up of a rare IceCube neutrino multiplet", arXiv:1702.06131 (Feb 2017)
  9. "Gamma-ray observations of Tycho's SNR with VERITAS and Fermi", arXiv:1701.06740 (Jan 2017)
  10. "A Search for Spectral Hysteresis and Energy-dependent Time Lags from X-Ray and TeV Gamma-Ray Observations of Mrk 421", The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 834, Issue 1, article id. 2, 18 pp. (2017) (Jan 2017)
  11. "Very High Energy Observations of the Binaries V 404 Cyg and 4U 0115+634 during Giant X-Ray Outbursts", The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 831, Issue 1, article id. 113, 5 pp. (2016) (Nov 2016)
  12. "Very high energy outburst of Markarian 501 in May 2009", Astronomy & Astrophysics, Volume 594, id.A76, 12 pp (Oct 2016)
  13. "Very High-Energy Gamma-Ray Follow-Up Program Using Neutrino Triggers from IceCube", arXiv:1610.01814 (Oct 2016)
  14. "Contributions of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) to the 6th International Symposium on High-Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Gamma 2016)", arXiv:1610.05151 (Oct 2016)
  15. "VERITAS and multiwavelength observations of the BL Lacertae object 1ES 1741+196", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 459, Issue 3, p.2550-2557 (Jul 2016)
  16. "Upper Limits from Five Years of Blazar Observations with the VERITAS Cherenkov Telescopes", The Astronomical Journal, Volume 151, Issue 6, article id. 142, 19 pp. (2016) (Jun 2016)
  17. "VERITAS Collaboration Contributions to the 34th International Cosmic Ray Conference", arXiv:1510.01639 (Oct 2015)
  18. "VERITAS Detection of γ-Ray Flaring Activity From the BL Lac Object 1ES 1727+502 During Bright Moonlight Observations", The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 808, Issue 2, article id. 110, 11 pp. (2015) (Aug 2015)
  19. "CTA Contributions to the 34th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2015)", arXiv:1508.05894 (Aug 2015)
  20. "Erratum: VERITAS deep observations of the dwarf spheroidal galaxy Segue 1 [Phys. Rev. D 85, 062001 (2012)]", Physical Review D, Volume 91, Issue 12, id.129903 (Jun 2015)

Latest Conference Proceedings
  1. "The Science and Design of the AGIS Observatory", American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #215, #441.07; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol. 42, p.401 (Jan 2010)
  2. "Status of the VERITAS Observatory", HIGH ENERGY GAMMA-RAY ASTRONOMY: Proceedings of the 4th International Meeting on High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy. AIP Conference Proceedings, Volume 1085, pp. 657-660 (2008) (Dec 2008)
  3. "Status report from VERITAS", Journal of Physics: Conference Series, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp. 34-39 (2007) (Mar 2007)
  4. "Deployment of the VERITAS observatory", Journal of Physics: Conference Series, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp. 232-237 (2006) (Oct 2006)
  5. "VERITAS: status c.2005", PARTICLES AND NUCLEI: Seventeenth Internatinal Conference on Particles and Nuclei. AIP Conference Proceedings, Volume 842, pp. 1001-1003 (2006) (Jul 2006)
  6. "The VERITAS Prototype and the Upcoming VERITAS Array", HIGH ENERGY GAMMA-RAY ASTRONOMY: 2nd International Symposium on High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy. AIP Conference Proceedings, Volume 745, pp. 633-638 (2005) (Feb 2005)
  7. "Very High Energy Observations of Gamma Ray Bursts with the Whipple/VERITAS Telescopes", High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy: 2nd International Symposium, Proceedings of the conference held 26-30 July 2004 in Heidelberg (Germany). Edited by Felix A. Aharonian, Heinz J. Völk, and Dieter Horns. AIP Conference Proceedings, Volume 745. New York: A
  8. "The very high energy gamma ray spectra of IES 1959+650 and Mrk 421 as measured with the Whipple 10 m telescope", HIGH ENERGY GAMMA-RAY ASTRONOMY: 2nd International Symposium on High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy. AIP Conference Proceedings, Volume 745, pp. 462-467 (2005) (Feb 2005)
  9. "Recent Observations of IC443 with the Whipple 10m Telescope", HIGH ENERGY GAMMA-RAY ASTRONOMY: 2nd International Symposium on High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy. AIP Conference Proceedings, Volume 745, pp. 275-280 (2005) (Feb 2005)
  10. "Science capabilities of the VERITAS array of 10m imaging atmospheric Cerenkov gamma-ray detectors", Discoveries and Research Prospects from 6- to 10-Meter-Class Telescopes II. Edited by Guhathakurta, Puragra. Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 4834, pp. 276-287 (2003) (Feb 2003)