Dr. Beth Brown Joins ADF

Volume 15, Number 3, September 1999

By David Leisawitz

NSSDC belatedly welcomes Dr. Beth A. Brown to the Astrophysics Data Facility (ADF). Dr. Brown joined the staff in November 1998 as a National Research Council Resident Research Associate (RRA). She divides her time between multiwavelength research on elliptical galaxies and educational outreach.

Dr. Brown is studying the effects of the galactic environment on the X-ray luminosities of elliptical galaxies, and testing the cooling flow model. In her previous work on this subject (Brown & Bregman 1998), she measured X-ray fluxes for a sample of 34 elliptical galaxies and found important inconsistencies with theoretical models, raising new questions about the hot gas in ellipticals. Dr. Brown had hoped to obtain additional Roentgen Satellite (ROSAT) observations during her RRA tenure to strengthen her previous conclusions and provide the basis for a new understanding of elliptical galaxies. Undaunted by the recent decommissioning of ROSAT, she has pursued her research using archival ROSAT data and astronomical catalogs available through the Astronomical Data Center. Dr. Brown recently submitted a paper on her research to the Astrophysical Journal. A second paper is in preparation and will be submitted shortly.

Dr. Brown is keenly interested in educational outreach and has devoted some of her time to this during the past year. She has worked with her research advisor, Dr. David Leisawitz, on the Multiwavelength Milky Way project, an effort to make data on the Galaxy accessible to educators, students, and the general public. This past summer, Dr. Brown and Dr. Leisawitz collaborated with two teacher-interns - Lisa Alter and Lisa Bruck - to develop lesson plans suitable for middle and high school students and new educational Web pages for the Multiwavelength Milky Way project.

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