Elizabeth Ferrara's Astronomy Department Home Page
Title: Assistant Research Scientist
Room: NASA GSFC
Phone: (301) 286-7057
Dr. Elizabeth Ferrara is an astrophysicist working with the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. Her research interests include finding new gamma-ray source types and classes using multi-wavelength observations, and searching for new pulsars using gamma-ray sources as seed positions. Dr. Ferrara is part of the "Pulsar Search Consortium" (PSC), a group of gamma-ray and radio astronomers who use many of the largest single-dish radio observatories in the world to search for new pulsars. She contributes to ongoing PSC projects at Green Bank (NRAO), Parkes (ATNF), Arecibo (NAIC), Nançay, and Effelsberg (MPIFR) Observatories, as well as the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (NCRA). Together, these facilities have discovered more than 55 pulsars in radio searches of gamma-ray sources.
In her efforts to characterize and associate new gamma-ray sources, Dr. Ferrara also is actively working with a number of other ground and space-based facilities. Currently, she is facilitating or coordinating follow-up observations with SWIFT, the Nordic Optical Telescope, the Very Large Array, ATCA, and with the TANAMI project. By combining observations at multiple wavebands, she is working to gain a clearer understanding of what may comprise the still-unidentified population of gamma-ray sources from Fermi.
Dr. Ferrara is also part of the mission team for Fermi. She is currently the Deputy Lead Scientist for the Fermi Science Support Center, working with the Large Area Telescope (LAT) and Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) instrument teams to implement new science objectives. Prior to launch, Dr. Ferrara wrote and tested all the procedures used to command the LAT, the primary instrument for the mission. LAT instrument activation occurred during the second week of the mission, and she was present for the entire operation, which took more than 24 hours. Before joining the University of Maryland team in 2009, She received her Ph.D. in astronomy from Georgia State University in 2000. She has also worked with General Dynamics on a number of civilian space missions, including GLAST (now Fermi) and JWST.
Papers and Press
- NASA's Fermi Celebrates Five Years in Space, Enters Extended Mission
- NASA's Fermi Finds Youngest Millisecond Pulsar, 100 Pulsars To-Date, (Flash Interactive)
- Fermi's Latest Gamma-ray Census Highlights Cosmic Mysteries
- NASA's Fermi Telescope Finds Giant Structure in our Galaxy
- Nature's Most Precise Clocks May Make "Galactic GPS" Possible
- NASA's Science Visualization Studio for the Fermi Mission
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