Office of University Communications

Tom Megeath

Tom Megeath
Associate Professor of Astronomy

Everything you see around you has been in a star because every element heavier than hydrogen and helium has been in a star. It’s through the study of the origins of celestial bodies across the galaxy that we learn how our own sun and solar system were created. Tom Megeath partners with NASA and the European Space Agency and with access to space-based observation platforms and the latest technology, he is researching the entire life cycle from star formation to entire planetary systems and making some interesting discoveries along the way.

Expertise: Life cycle of stars

Crystal rain
"You need temperatures as hot as lava to make these crystals. We propose that the crystals were cooked up near the surface of the forming star, then carried up into the surrounding cloud, where temperatures are much colder, and ultimately fell down again like glitter."

The Wonders of Space: Crystal Rain on a Distant Star
May 2011

Hole in space
"We think the star is launching a bipolar jet at hundreds of kilometers per second that is punching a gigantic hole in the surrounding cloud. Essentially these bolts of gas are being shot forward and are sweeping away all the gas and dust."

Hole in Space Found by Orbiting Telescope
National Geographic
May 2010

star, solar system, star formation, sun, NASA
Last Updated: 12/16/19