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Dr. Andrew Ptak


Arcus Project Scientist
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Dr. Ptak is a Research Astrophysicist at NASA-GSFC's X-ray Astrophysics Lab. He is also the Deputy Study Scientist for the US contribution to Athena, where he supports the assessment of hardware roles NASA may have in the Athena mission, and is co-chair of the Athena Science Working Group on AGN and starburst feedback. He is currently the Guest Observer program lead for the NuSTAR mission. His main research interests are in the X-ray properties of starburst galaxies, particularly hot gas and ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs), and the properties of active galactic nuclei. He is also interested in wide-area surveys and following up unusual sources with X-ray observations. He is also active in astrophysics software development, having written an automated analysis program for Chandra and XMM-Newton data that produced one of the first serendipitous source catalogs for Chandra and XMM-Newton ( He received a B.A. (physics) from Johns Hopkins University, and Ph.D. (physics) from the University of Maryland, College Park.