Rachel L. Akeson

Senior research scientist at IPAC at Caltech
MS 100-22
Pasadena CA 91125
phone: 626-395-1812
fax: 626-397-7181
email: rla at ipac.caltech.edu 


I am the task lead for the WFIRST support at IPAC and the SPHEREx Science Data Center and involved with the NASA Exoplanet Archive and NN-Explore/NEID efforts at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI).

The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is a NASA observatory designed to unravel the secrets of dark energy and dark matter, search for and image exoplanets, and explore many topics in infrared astrophysics. IPAC will partner with Goddard Space Flight Center and the Space Telescope Science Institute to provide the Science Center functions for WFIRST.

SPHEREx is an all-sky spectroscopic survey mission conducting 4 all-sky surveys over 2 years, providing the first near-infrared all-sky spectral survey for the astronomical community with a data pipeline operated at IPAC and a data archive hosted by the NASA IPAC Infrared Science Archive.

NExScI is the science operations and analysis center for NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program . We provide tools and archives for the exoplanet community, administer the Sagan program of fellowships and workshops, and support Kepler/K2, the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer and the NN-Explore project and administration of the NASA Keck telescope time.



Research topics

Millimeter interferometry

High resolution imaging of pre-main sequence stars

  • R.L. Akeson et al, Resolved Young Binary Systems and Their Disks, 2019, Astrophysical Journal, 872, 158
  • E.L.N. Jensen and R.L. Akeson, Misaligned Protoplanetary Disks in a Young Binary System, 2014, Nature 511, 567
  • R.L. Akeson and E.L.N. Jensen, Circumstellar Disks around Binary Stars in Taurus, 2014, ApJ 784 62
  • E.L.N. Jensen and R.L. Akeson, Protoplanetary Disk Mass Distribution in Young Binaries, 2003, ApJ 584 875
  • R.L. Akeson, D.W. Koerner, and E.L.N. Jensen. A circumstellar dust disk around T Tau N: Sub-arcsecond imaging at lambda = 3mm, 1998, ApJ 505, 358




  • Optical and infrared interferometry

  • R. L. Akeson et al., 2011, Radial Structure in the TW Hya Circumstellar Disk, ApJ, 728, 96
  • R. L. Akeson et al., 2009, Dust in the inner regions of debris disks around A stars , ApJ, 691, 1896
  • R. L. Akeson, W.K.M. Rice, A.F. Boden, A.I. Sargent, J.M. Carpenter, G. Bryden The circumbinary disk of HD 98800 B: Evidence for disk warping to appear in the Astrophysical Journal, ApJ, 670, 1240
  • R.L. Akeson, A.F. Boden, J.D. Monnier, R. Millan-Gabet, C. Beichman, J. Beletic, N. Calvet, L. Hartmann, L. Hillenbrand, C. Koresko, A. Sargent, and A. Tannirkulam, 2005, Keck Interferometer observations of classical and weak line T Tauri stars ApJ, 635, 1173
  • R. L. Akeson, C. H. Walker, K. Wood, J. A. Eisner, E. Scire, B. Penprase, D. R. Ciardi, G. T. van Belle, B. Whitney, and J. E. Bjorkman, Observations and Modeling of the Inner Disk Region of T Tauri Stars ApJ 622 440
  • Colavita, M., Akeson, R., Wizinowich, P., Shao, M. et al. Observations of DG Tauri with the Keck Interferometer, 2003,  ApJL, 592 L83
  • R.L. Akeson, D.R. Ciardi, G.T. van Belle, and M.J. Creech-Eakman Constraints on circumstellar disk parameters from multi-wavelength observations: T Tau and SU Aur., 2002,  ApJ, 566 1124
  • R.L. Akeson, D.R. Ciardi, G.T. van Belle, M.J. Creech-Eakman and E.A. Lada Infrared Interferometric Observations of Young Stellar Objects, 2000,  ApJ 543 313
  • Millimeter Interferometric Polarization

    This project involved the installation of adjustable polarizers on the Owens Valley Radio Observatory millimeter array. Used as quarter-wave plates, these polarizers can measured the linearly polarized emission at 3 mm.
     
  • Weintraub, D., Goodman, A., and Akeson, R, 1999,  Polarized  Light from Star Forming Regions, Protostars and Planets IV
  • R.L. Akeson, J.E. Carlstrom, J.A. Phillips, and D.P. Woody. Millimeter Interferometric Imaging of the Young Stellar Object NGC 1333/IRAS 4A, 1996, ApJL, 456, 45.
  • R.L. Akeson and J.E. Carlstrom, Magnetic Field Structure in Protostellar Envelopes, 1997, ApJ, 491, 254 .



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