Hi! I'm Peter Maksym

an Astronomer
at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

I study black holes, their feeding habits,
and how they interact with their host galaxies.


Massive black holes commonly occupy the very centers of galaxies, and the behavior and evolution of these black holes are intricately connected with the evolution of the host galaxies themselves. I use observations across the electromagnetic spectrum (including X-rays, ultraviolet, optical, infrared and radio) to study how black holes eat and grow, and affect their surroundings. Some of this research is based in time domain astronomy and some involves imaging of extended objects.

AGN Shutdown

Emission Line Imaging

My Data!

AGN Feedback

Galaxy Zoo

My Collaborators!

Tidal Disruption Events

Other Projects

Favorite Telescopes

Curriculum Vitae

My brief bio is below. Click here for a full CV

Believe it or not, I'm not the only Peter Maksym on ADS, so I maintain a library of my publications

As an undergraduate, I studied Astronomy and Physics at Yale. I worked for five years as a data specialist for the Chandra X-ray Observatory before returning to school, earning my Ph.D. in Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern University under the supervision of Mel Ulmer, where I used archival Chandra and XMM-Newton data to study the tidal disruption of stars by supermassive black holes.

For my first postdoctoral position, I continued to research tidal disruption events and other high-energy astrophysics with Jimmy Irwin at the University of Alabama, but also studied quasar shutdown with Bill Keel.

Currently, I am a postdoc at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics working with Pepi Fabbiano, Martin Elvis and Thaisa Storchi-Bergmann on resolved observations of feedback in nearby AGN. I am also PI of several observational programs studying the tidal disruption of stars or AGN shutdown.


(And no, the email address is not wrong.
Peter is my middle name, and I've always gone by it!)

I post mostly astronomy-related commentary on Twitter,
and can be found there as @StellarBones