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  Laura's Research  

I use telescopes across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, but my favorite telescope is the Jansky Very Large Array. I also love SOAR and Fermi!

  Multi-Wavelength Observations of Novae  

The last decade has seen a paradigm shift in our understanding of classical novae---thanks to the now-routine detection of GeV gamma-rays with Fermi/LAT, it appears that shocks are energetically important (and sometimes dominant!) in novae. Novae also appear to be able to efficiently accelerate particles to relativistic speeds. Our team uses radio, optical, X-ray, and gamma-ray telescopes to observe shocks in novae, to understand where and how they are formed and their physical conditions---improving our understanding of more exotic, distant explosions like super-luminous supernovae. Check out our Astro2020 white paper here!

  CHILES VERDES: The Radio Transient Sky at Incomparable Depth  

  Radio Constraints on the Environments---and Progenitors---of Type Ia Supernovae  

Type Ia supernovae are believed to mark the complete disruption of a white dwarf made of carbon and oxygen. For the white dwarf to self-destruct, it must somehow be perturbed by a binary companion, but the nature of this companion remains a mystery. It may be a main sequence or giant star, or another white dwarf. As the white dwarf accretes from its companion star, some material is expected to be lost during this process and surround the system. However, most searches for such circum-binary material have yielded non-detections, and the expected signal from the predicted medium is just beyond their reach. We have undertaken the most sensitive search to date for circum-binary material around SNe Ia, searching for radio continuum emission with the remarkably sensitive Jansky VLA and MeerKAT telescopes. We published a comprehensive search for radio emission from nearby SNe Ia in the year following explosion, and placed some of the deepest limits to date circum-binary material. Our team is now collecting late-time radio observations of SNe Ia to constrain the circumbinary environment at larger radii.

  Measuring the Galactic Nova Rate using ASAS-SN  

Although we only detect ~10 novae in our Galaxy each year, predictions say that the Milky Way's nova rate is more like 50 per year. We joined the ASAS-SN collaboration to survey the entire sky with nightly cadence to systematically search for novae and measure the nova rate in our Galaxy.

  Searching for Black Holes in Globular Clusters  

I am a proud member of the MAVERICS survey, which is surveying 50 Galactic globular clusters at radio wavelengths to unprecedented depths. These images will allow us to differentiate accreting neutron stars from black holes, and provide the best-yet constraints on the prevalence of black holes in these dense ancient star clusters.

  Searching for Supernova Remnants in Local Group Galaxies  

We are analyzing deep radio observations of the local group galaxies SMC, LMC, and M31 to produce radio-selected catalogs of supernova remnants. Ulimately, we will use these catalogs to measure the delay time distribution for supernovae and place constraints on the progenitors of both core-collapse and Type Ia supernovae.

  The Link between Star Formation and Synchrotron Emission in Nearby Galaxies  

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