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Dr. Christopher Russell
Ph.D. in Theoretical Astrophysics
Class of 2013

Dr. Christopher Russell received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Astrophysics in 2013 with dissertation on Using 3D Dynamic Models to Reproduce X-ray Properties of Colliding Wind Binaries under the supervision of Prof. Owocki (prior to that he also completed B.S. in Physics at UD with concentration in Astronomy and Astrophysics and Minors in Mathematics and Computer Science). After graduation, he did postdoctoral research at Hokkai-Gakuen University, Sapporo, Japan; University of Delaware; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, X-ray Astrophysics Laboratory; and he is currently postdoc at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. 

Dr. Russell's research is in the news (, Huffington Post (UK), Popular Mechanics, Mirror, International Business Times...) after he created a 360-degree video of the center of the Milky Way, based on a supercomputer simulation that incorporates 25 massive stars ejecting their stellar winds, all the while orbiting our galaxy's supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*. The 4-million-sun black hole exerts its strong gravitational influence over everything in the region, and this 360-degree video is made from Sgr A*'s perspective, providing an immersive view of this region of space.

The video was originally presented as a Press Release at the AAS meeting in Washington, DC as a part of Chandra X-ray Telescope collaboration. It was also picked up by the regular NASA outlets (web, Facebook), as well as on a popular science-based Facebook page. Combined, these three sites, in less than a week, have led to this video being viewed over 1M times!