Peter Ferguson

Graduate Student in Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M.


Hi, I am a 3rd year graduate student currently working for Dr. Jennifer Marshall and Dr. Louis Strigari. My current research involves using RR-Lyrae, a type of variable star, as tracers to explore 3D substructure of the Milky Way. Additionally, I am working as part of the munnerlyn instrumentation lab developing a mobile spectrophotometric calibration unit for imaging systems. I also am extremely interested in spatial statistics, and data vizualization.



Milky Way Streams

I worked on associating the new streams found in the Dark Energy Survey with previously known streams, and investigated the distribution of stream orbits looking for progenitors/ evidence of the vast polar structure(VPOS). The image to the left steps through different distance modulus(distances from us), the lines that come and go are streams seen in the Dark Energy Survey(Image credit:Alex Dirlica-Wagner).

  • Press Release
  • Paper
  • RR-Lyrae as probes of Milky Way Substructure

    Currently, I am working on using RR-Lyrae, a type of variable star, to probe substructre of the miky way. Image on the left is a mock halo RR-L catalog based off of the Aquarius simulation.


    TCal: a spectrophotometric calibration instrument for imaging systems

    As part of the Munnelyn Instrumentation Lab, I am developing calibration instrument, similar to DeCal, that will characterize transmission of multiple telesopes. This will help calibrate measurements between large telescopes, which is becoming increasingly important as more and more resoureces are usied in conducting surveys(LSST) and survey followup.


    I predicted and measured characteristics of two new medium band infrared filters, K-blue and K-red, installed on FLAMINGOS-2(F2) at Gemini South an 8 meter telescope on Cerro Panchon in Chile. Particularly investigating how thermal emission from the telescope affects the sky brighness. The plot on the left shows how the emission between 2200 and 2400 Anstroms(the blue line) is much brighter than the predicted sky(the black line), but matches well the predicted sky plus a black body(the red line).


    STAT 677

    Predicting Metallicites of stars in the Galactic neighborhood

    These animations, show slices of posterior mean metallicity([Fe/H]) on the top and the posterior variance on the bottom at predicted locations within 10kpc of the sun. The predictions are based on GAIA DR1 and LAMOST observations which are marked with back squares on each plot.

    Contact Me

    I can be reached at petersferguson "at"