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Dr. Chris Packham
Associate Professor

Office Phone: (210) 458-8671
Office: AET 3.384
Email: Chris [dot] Packham [at] utsa [dot] edu

Areas of Specialization:

  • Infrared Observations
  • Active Galactic Nuclei
  • Stellar Discs
  • Infrared Instrumentation

Research Interests:

Chris Packham joined UTSA as an assistant professor in the Physics & Astronomy department in June 2012.  His research foci are (1) supermassive black holes in external galaxies, (2) protoplanetary discs around stars, and (3) the construction of infrared instrumentation for the world’s largest/most advanced telescopes in order to enable such observations.

His current work is focused on jointly leading an international group of astronomers to use large telescopes to examine supermassive black holes in external galaxies.  He is also jointly leading an instrumentation examination for the next generation of telescopes (the international Thirty Meter Telescope), particularly with colleagues in Japan, Hawaii, and California.  This work will lead to a deeper understanding of supermassive black holes, their creation in galaxies, and perhaps provide hints at a key outstanding question in astronomy – which came first, the supermassive black hole or the galaxy host.  Using the same instrument, we expect to catch planets forming around other stars.



M. M. Moerchen, C. M. Telesco and C. Packham, 2010, ApJ, 723, 1418
“High-spatial-resolution imaging of thermal emission from debris disks”

A. Alonso-Herrero, C. Ramos Almeida, R. Mason, A. Asensio Ramos, P. F. Roche, N. A. Levenson, M. Elitzur, C. Packham, J. M. Rodrıguez Espinosa, S. Young, T. Diaz-Santos, A. M. Perez Garcıa, 2011. ApJ, 736, 82
“Torus and AGN Properties of Nearby Seyfert Galaxies: Results from Fitting IR Spectral Energy Distributions and Spectroscopy”

C. Packham, M. Honda, M. Richter, Y.K. Okamoto, H. Kataza, T. Onaka, T. Fujiyoshi, A. Tokunaga, M. Chun, et al., 2012, SPIE
“Key Science Drivers for MICHI, A Mid-IR Instrument Concept for the TMT”