Robert A. Fesen

Academic Appointments

Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Rob Fesen is an observational astronomer specializing in supernovae, their remnants, and interstellar emission nebulae. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Villanova University in 1971, a masters from the University of Hawaii in 1973, and a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Michigan in 1981. He also was a computer programmer in the comptroller's department at AT&T from 1983 to 1986. He did post-doctoral research at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and at the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Colorado before coming to Dartmouth in 1989. Fesen has held visiting positions at the University of Texas at Dallas and at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Fesen was on the Board of Directors for the SALT telescope from 2001 - 2010 and was Acting Director of MDM Observatory from 1995-1996.


342 Wilder Lab phone: 1-603-646-2949
HB 6127


  • B.S. Villanova University
  • M.S. University of Hawaii
  • Ph.D. University of Michigan

Selected Publications

  • "A Distance Estimate to the Cygnus Loop Based on the Distances to Two Stars Located Within the Remnant", Fesen, R.A., Neustadt, Jack M.M., Black, Christine S., and Milisavljevic,Dan, 2017, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

  • "Optical and UV Spectra of the Remnant of SN 1885 (S And) in M31",  Robert A. Fesen, Kathyrn .E. Weil,  Andrew J.S. Hamilton, and Peter A. Hoeflich, 2017, The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 848, Issue 2, article id. 130, 17 pp

  • "Progressive redshifts in the late-time spectra of Type Ia supernovae", Christine S. Black, Robert A. Fesen, and Jerod T. Parrent, 2016, Monthy Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 462, Issue 1, p.649-662

  • "An HST Survey of the Highest-velocity Ejecta in Cassiopeia A", Robert A. Fesen and Dan Milisavljevic, 2016, The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 818, Issue 1, article id. 17, 19 pp.

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Works In Progress


The Mysterious High-Velocity Ejecta Jets in Cassiopeia A

The Reverse Shock Velocity in the Young Galactic Supernova Remnant, Cassiopeia A