Dr. L. Andrew Helton

Curriculum Vitae


Education

Ph.D., Astrophysics - University of Minnesota, Twin Cities - 2010

Advisors: R.D. Gehrz & C.E. Woodward
Thesis Title: Photometric and Spectroscopic Analysis of Classical Novae: An Examination of Their Observational Properties and Greater Astronomical Impact

B.Sc., Physics & Astronomy - University of Iowa - 2004

William R. Savage Memorial Award Recipient


Experience

2014 - Present: Research Scientist - USRA/SOFIA

2012 - 2014: Assistant Instrument Scientist - USRA/SOFIA

2012 - 2014: Adjunct Lecturer - Santa Clara University

2010 - 2012: Visiting Post-Doctoral Scientist - USRA/SOFIA

2007: Adjunct Lecturer - University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

2006 - 2010: Operations Coordinator, Mt. Lemmon Observing Facility and O'Brien Observatory - University of Minnesota, Twin Cities


Outreach

I have been very active in Public Outreach throughout graduate school and during my tenure at SOFIA. I have given nearly 100 different public talks and night sky viewing events for groups of all sizes and ages. Specific events have included co-founding Astronomy on Tap, South Bay; Yuri’s Day Celebration at the CA Academy of Sciences Night Life; public tours of the SOFIA Observatory; general public outreach; University of Minnesota’s Universe in the Park; and the Young Scientists Roundtable; among others.

2017 - Co-Founder, Astronomy on Tap, South Bay - Silicon Valley, CA

2008 - 2010 - Director, UMN Universe in the Park - Minneapolis, MN

2007 - UMN Best Outreach Volunteer Award - Minneapolis, MN


My research interests include the development of Classical & Recurrent Nova systems, their abundances & dust production, and their influence on the local interstellar medium; potential Supernovae Type Ia progenitors; dust formation, evolution, and distribution in the ISM; and late stage stellar evolution.

Research Interests

 

 

The Unexpected Spectrum of the Innermost Ejecta of the Red Hypergiant VY CMa, R.M. Humphreys, L.M. Ziurys, J.J. Bernal, L.A. Helton, et al. 2019, ApJL, submitted

The Temporal Development of Dust Formation and Destruction in Nova Sagittarii 2015#2 (V5668 Sgr): A Panchromatic Study, R.D. Gehrz, A. Evans, C.E. Woodward, L.A. Helton, et al. 2018, ApJ, 858, 78

Searching for Cool Dust. II. Infrared Imaging of The OH/IR Supergiants, NML Cyg, VX Sgr, S Per, and the Normal Red Supergiants RS Per and T Per, M.S. Gordon, L.A. Helton (author 6 of 9), et al. 2018, AJ 155, 212

A SOFIA FORCAST and FLITECAM Grism Study of the Mineralogy of Dust in the Winds of Proto-planetary Nebulae: RV Tauri Stars and SRd Variables, R.A. Arneson, R.D. Gehrz, C.E. Woodward, L.A. Helton, et al. 2017, ApJ, 843, 22

Massive Star Formation in the LMC. I. N159 and N160 Complexes, M.S. Gordon, T.J. Jones, R.D. Gehrz, & L.A. Helton, 2017, ApJ, 834, 122

Rise and fall of the dust shell of the classical nova V339 Delphini, A. Evans, L.A. Helton (author 14 of 19), et al. 2017, MNRAS, 466, 4221

CK Vul: a smorgasbord of hydrocarbons rules out a 1670 nova (and much else besides), A. Evans, L.A. Helton (author 6 of 8), et al. 2016, MNRAS, 457, 2871

Searching for Cool Dust in the Mid-to-far Infrared: The Mass-loss Histories of the Hypergiants µ Cep, VY CMa, IRC+10420, and ρ Cas, D. Shenoy, L.A. Helton (author 6 of 9), et al. 2016, AJ, 151, 51

Modelling the spectral energy distribution of the red giant in RS Ophiuchi: evidence for irradiation, Ya.V. Pavlenko, L.A. Helton (author 6 of 9), et al. 2016, MNRAS, 456, 181

The Early Infrared Temporal Development of Nova Delphini 2013 (V339 Del) Observed with the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) and from the Ground, R.D. Gehrz, A. Evans, L.A. Helton, et al. 2015, ApJ, 812, 132

Observations of Type Ia Supernova 2014J with FLITECAM/SOFIA, W.D. Vacca, L.A. Helton (author 16 of 23), et al. 2015, ApJ, 804, 66

A WISE view of novae. I. The data, A. Evans, R.D. Gehrz, C.E. Woodward, & L.A. Helton, 2014, MNRAS, 444, 1683

The SOFIA Observatory at the Start of Routine Science Operations: Mission Capabilities and Performance, P. Temi, A. Helton (author 21 of 68), et al. 2014, ApJS, 212, 24

Data Reduction and Early Science Calibration for FORCAST, A Mid-Infrared Camera for SOFIA, T.L. Herter, L.A. Helton (author 9 of 10), et al. 2013, PASP, 125, 1393

Elemental Abundances in the Ejecta of Old Classical Novae from Late-Epoch Spitzer Spectra, L.A. Helton, et al. 2012, ApJ, 755, 37

Infrared observations of the recurrent nova T Pyxidis: ancient dust basks in the warm glow of the 2011 outburst, A. Evans, R.D. Gehrz, L.A. Helton, et al. 2012, MNRAS, 424, 69

Early Science with SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, E.T. Young, L.A. Helton (author 20 of 41), et al. 2012, ApJ, 749, L17

Solid-Phase C60 in the peculiar binary XX Oph?, A. Evans, J.Th. van Loon, C.E. Woodward, R.D. Gehrz, G.C. Clayton, L.A. Helton, et al. 2012, MNRAS, 421, L92

Swift X-Ray Observations of Classical Novae. II. The Super Soft Source Sample, G.J. Schwarz, J.-U. Ness, J.P. Osborne, K.L. Page, P.A. Evans, A.P. Beardmore, F.M. Walter, L.A. Helton, et al. 2011, ApJ, 197, 31

A Very Luminous, Highly Extinguished, Very Fast Nova – V1721 Aquilae, R. Hounsell, M.J. Darnley, M.F. Bode, D.J. Harman, L.A. Helton, and G.J. Schwarz, 2011, A&A, 530, 81

The Dusty Nova V1065 Centauri (Nova Cen 2007): A Spectroscopic Analysis of Abundances and Dust Properties, L.A. Helton, et al. 2010, AJ, 140, 1347

The Peculiar Dust Shell of Nova DZ Cru (2003), A. Evans, R.D. Gehrz, C.E. Woodward, L.A. Helton, et al. 2010, MNRAS, 406, L85

SN2010U – a Luminous Nova in NGC 4214, R.M. Humphreys, J.L. Prieto, P. Rosenfield, L.A. Helton, et al. 2010, ApJ, 718, L43

High Resolution X-Ray Spectroscopy of the Evolving Shock in the 2006 Outburst of RS Ophiuchi, J.-U. Ness, J.J. Drake, S. Starrfield, M.F. Bode, T.J. O’Brien, A. Evans, S.P.S. Eyres, L.A. Helton, et al. 2009, AJ, 137, 3414

Nova V2362 Cyg (Nova Cygni 2006): Spitzer, Swift and Ground-based Spectral Evolution, D.K. Lynch, C.E. Woodward, R.D. Gehrz, L.A. Helton, et al. 2008, ApJ, 136, 1815

The Neon Abundance in the Ejecta of QU Vulpeculae from Late-Epoch Infrared Spectra, R.D. Gehrz, C.E. Woodward, L.A. Helton, et al. 2008, ApJ, 672, 1167

Silicate Dust in the Environment of RS Ophiuchi Following the 2006 Eruption, A. Evans, C.E. Woodward, L.A. Helton, et al. 2007, ApJ, 671, 157

The Early Spectrophotometric Evolution of V1186 Scorpii (Nova Scorpii 2004 No. 1), G.J. Schwarz, C.E. Woodward, M.F. Bode, A. Evans, S.P. Eyres, T.R. Geballe, R.D. Gehrz, M.A. Greenhouse, L.A. Helton, et al.  2007, AJ, 134, 516

Spitzer and Ground-based Infrared Observations of the 2006 Eruption of RS Ophiuchi, A. Evans, C.E. Woodward, L.A. Helton, et al.  2007 ApJ, 663, 29

The Three-Dimensional Morphology of VY CMa. II. Polarimetry and the Line-of Sight Distribution of the Ejecta, T.J. Jones, R.M. Humphreys L.A. Helton, C. Gui, & X. Huang.  2007, AJ, 133, 2730

Stellar Populations and Mass Loss in M15: A Spitzer Space Telescope Detection of Dust in the Intracluster Medium, M.L. Boyer, C.E. Woodward, J.Th. van Loon, K.D. Gordon, A. Evans, R.D. Gehrz, L.A. Helton & E.F. Polomski. 2006, AJ, 132, 1415

M33's Variable A: A Hypergiant Star More Than 35 YEARS in Eruption, R.M. Humphreys, T.J. Jones, E.F. Polomski, M. Koppelman, L.A. Helton, et al. 2006, AJ, 131, 2105

Refereed Publications

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ATEL #2904: 20101004: Swift super soft X-ray detection in Nova V1213 Centauri, G.J. Schwarz, J.P. Osborne, K.L. Page, J.-U. Ness, F.M. Walter, M.F. Bode, S. Starrfield, C.E. Woodward, & L.A. Helton

IAU Circ. 9140: 20100426: V5586 Sgr = N Sgr 2010 No. 2, L.A. Helton, T. Vonderharr, C.E. Woodward, & G.J. Schwarz

ATEL #2157: 20090812: X-ray detection of Nova V2468 Cygni and multiwavelength monitoring, G.J. Schwarz, J.P. Osborne, K.L. Page, J.-U. Ness, C.E. Woodward, L.A. Helton, et al.

ATEL #2063: 20090528: The first X-ray detection of the dust forming C-rich nova V1280 Sco, J.-U. Ness, G. Schwarz, C.E. Woodward, L.A. Helton, et al.

IAU Circ. 8989: 20081003: V1721 Aquilae = N Aql 2008, L.A. Helton, C.E. Woodward, K. Vanlandingham, & G.J. Schwarz

CBET 1449: 20080727: V2670 Ophiuchi, L.A. Helton, C.E. Woodward, K. Vanlandingham, & G.J. Schwarz

CBET 1448: 20080727: V2671 Ophiuchi, L.A. Helton, C.E. Woodward, K. Vanlandingham, & G.J. Schwarz

CBET 1379: 20080517: V2491 Cygni, L.A. Helton, C.E. Woodward, K. Vanlandingham, & G.J. Schwarz

Circulars

 

An Evolving View of Classical Novae, invited colloquium, UT Austin, April 2018

A SOFIA/FORCAST Picture of Shock-Induced Dust Formation and Evolution in the Classical Nova V5668 Sgr, contributed talk, American Astronomical Society Meeting 230, Austin, TX, June 2017

Dust in Classical Novae, invited talk, Shocks in Supernovae and Novae Conference, New York, New York, June 2016

FORCAST Instrument Status and Science, SOFIA Splinter Session talk, American Astronomical Society Meeting 223, Washington, D.C., January 2014

The Dusty Nova – An Examination of Dust Production and Processing in the Ejecta of Classical Novae, contributed talk #CT20, Stella Novae: Past and Future Decades Conference, Cape Town, South Africa, February 2013

Hydrocarbon Features in Classical Novae, invited talk, 1st Annual SOFIA Science Staff Symposium, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, August 2012

Atypical Dust Species in the Ejecta of Classical Novae, contributed talk, PAHs and the Universe Conference, Toulouse, France, June 2010

New Insights into the Evolution of Galactic Classical Novae, dissertation talk, American Astronomical Society Meeting 216, Miami, FL, #301.01D, May 2010

A Short (and Biased) Introduction to Astrobiology, invited talk, Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories Centennial Celebration, hosted by the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences, September 2009

What’s the Matter – The History of Matter in the Universe, invited talk, Northern Nights Star Festival, hosted by the MN Astronomical Society, August 2009

Classical Novae: From Dead Stars to Superstars?, colloquium presentation, West Chester University, December 2008

Ongoing Monitoring of Classical Novae, invited talk, MN Astronomical Society, March 2008

Dust in the Nova Environment, invited talk, Arizona State University, October 2007 

Oral Presentations