Ylva Pihlström

I am an Associate Professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, at the University of New Mexico. Being a radio astronomer, my favorite subjects are the Galactic Center, astrophysical masers, but also starburst galaxies and Active Galactic Nuclei. For my research I use radio interferometery observing techniques, including Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI).  At UNM I also participate in work with the Long Wavelength Array (LWA). 


Research projects

BAaDE: Bulge Asymmetries and Dynamical Evolution. This is a survey aiming to map the positions and velocities of up to ~34,000 SiO maser stars in the Galactic bulge and inner Galaxy. Our survey will also yield sufficiently luminous SiO masers suitable for follow-up orbit and parallax determination using VLBI. The SiO maser stars are detectable both near the otherwise obscured plane and Center as well as in regions with less optical extinction, expanding by a large number the sample of currently known stellar tracers in the inner Galaxy. 

Another project investigates the properties of gas in molecular clouds interacting with supernova remnants. 1720 MHz OH and 36.2 and 44.1 GHz methanol masers are collisionally excited, their detection combined with modeling helps constraining the densities in the interaction regions. This may provide input to, e.g., hadronic CR acceleration scenarios. 


Research students

Graduate student Samantha Wallace is investigating solar wind acceleration theories, and how they match with spacecraft data.

Undergraduate student Cameron Trapp is searching for 43 GHz calibrators that may be used for VLBI studies in the Galactic plane.

Undergraduate student Isaiah Santistevan is working on the infrared properties of the AGB stars in our BAaDE sample, to determine the SEDs. 

Graduate student Michael Stroh is working on the BAaDE project, determining the velocities from ALMA detected sources.

Graduate student Bridget McEwen is working on research related to masers and the conditions in the shocked environment in a supernova remnant - molecular cloud collision. She will be graduating in June 2016.  

Research student Bob Mesler graduated in November 2013, with his thesis on environments of gamma-ray burst progenitors.