COSAM News Articles 2017 April Michael McCollough to speak at annual Duncan Memorial Lecture on April 20

Michael McCollough to speak at annual Duncan Memorial Lecture on April 20

Published: 04/06/2017

By: Lindsay Penny

Michael McCollough, physics ’75, ’81, an astrophysicist at the Harvard- Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, is the keynote speaker for the annual Duncan Memorial Lecture to be held Thursday, April 20. In his talk, “X-ray Binaries, Cygnus X-3, and its ‘Little’ Friend,” McCollough will discuss what happens to stars that violently die when they are part of a binary system, and he will review the stellar life cycle.

McCollough currently serves as an archival astrophysicist with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, a telescope specially designed to detect X-ray emissions from very hot regions of the universe including exploded stars, clusters of galaxies, and matter around black holes.

He has worked as part of the operations team for the Hubble Space Telescope where he managed a staff of astronomers and data technicians. For the last 30 years, McCollough has analyzed data from astronomical radio, optical, X-ray and Gamma-Ray telescopes, maintaining archives for investigators around the world. He has received more than 25 grants from NASA and multiple awards for his work.

The Duncan Memorial Lecture begins at 3 p.m. and will be held in 134 Chemistry Building. The event is free and open to the public.

The Duncan Memorial Lecture was established in 2012 by Dora Duncan in memory of her husband, M.M. “Dunc” Duncan ’49, a physicist. 

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