Phil Massey (@MassiveStarGuy) is an observational astronomer at Lowell Observatory, where he joined the staff in 2000. Before that, he worked at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, where he was the telescope scientist for the Kitt Peak 4-meter Mayall telescope. At Lowell, he’s served as the principal Investigator for the Large Monolithic Camera, the workhorse imager for Lowell’s 4.2-meter Discovery Channel Telescope. He is also well-known for his observing and IRAF manuals, which have served as an introduction to optical CCD imaging and spectroscopic reductions for several generations of astronomers. Phil also enjoys teaching, and teaches the occasional course at neighboring Northern Arizona University, where he serves as an adjunct.
Phil’s research interests include the study of massive stars (O-type, Wolf-Rayet, and red supergiants). He and his collaborators use the nearby galaxies of the Local Group to study how the evolution of the most luminous and massive stars is affected by environmental factors such as metallicity. In this work he primarily uses optical photometry and spectroscopy from ground- and space-based telescopes, with occasional forays into the ultraviolet and near infrared. Paradoxically, Phil hates travel but loves observing from remote mountain tops, particularly Las Campanas Observatory, from which he studies stars in the Magellanic Clouds.
He’s published more than 300 papers, conference proceedings, and abstracts over the years, and hopes to make it to 1000. He’s privileged to work with some great collaborators, including @KathrynNeugent and @emsque. He also enjoys hiking and backpacking with his family, particularly in the Grand Canyon.