Thomas Balonek - Colgate University - Faculty Directory

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Colgate Professor Thomas Balonek

Thomas Balonek

Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Physics & Astronomy, 407 Ho Science Center
p 315-228-7767

Degree

B.A. (Physics), Cornell University 1974; M.S. Ph.D. (Astronomy), University of Massachusetts, 1977, 1982.

Teaching at Colgate

Life in the Universe: A Cosmic Perspective (CORE/SP 122)
Solar System Astronomy (ASTR 101)
Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe (ASTR 102)
Intermediate Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASTR 210)
Astronomical Techniques (ASTR 312)
Planetary Science (ASTR 313)
Galactic and Extragalactic Astronomy (ASTR 416)

Other Teaching Experience

Visiting Assistant Professor, Williams College (1983-1985)
Lecturer, University of New Mexico (1982-1983)
Graduate Lecturer in Astronomy, University of Massachusetts – Amherst (1978-1981)

Specialties

Astronomy, observational extragalactic astronomy, radio and optical astronomy, astronomical image processing, extraterrestrial life

Research Interests

Extragalactic astronomy:
  • compact extragalactic sources (variable quasars, blazars, and active galactic nuclei)
  • optical and radio photometry, polarization and broadband spectra
  • radio galaxies
  • HI gas in galaxies in the local Universe
Optical photometry:
  • eclipsing binary stars
  • extragalactic supernovae
  • exoplanet transits
Asteroid astrometry

Selected Publications

Undergraduate authors marked with an *

Instructor's Manual for “Introductory Astronomy and Astrophysics,” fourth edition, Paul A. Heckert and Thomas J. Balonek, Saunders College Publishing, 312 pp (1998).

Dissertation: “Multi-frequency radio observations of compact extragalactic sources: time variability and correlation with optical variations,” University of Massachusetts, 384 pp (1982).

“Blazar 3C 454.3 in outburst and quiescence during 2005-2007: Two Variable Synchrotron Emission Peaks,” Patrick M. Ogle, Ann E. Wehrle, Thomas Balonek, Mark A. Gurwell, The Astrophysical Journal Supplement, 195, Issue 2, article id. 19, 20 pp (2011).

“Correlated multi-wave band variability in the Blazar 3C 279 from 1996 to 2007,” Ritaban Chatterjee, Svetlana G. Jorstad, Alan P. Marscher, Haruki Oh, Ian M. McHardy, Margo F. Aller, Hugh D. Aller, Thomas J. Balonek, H. Richard Miller, Wesley T. Ryle, Gino Tosti, Omar Kurtanidze, Maria Nikolashvili, Valeri M. Larionov, Vladimir A. Hagen-Thorn, The Astrophysical Journal, 689, 79-94 (2008).

“A 500 kpc H I extension of the Virgo pair NGC 4532/DDO 137 detected by the Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA (ALFALFA) Survey,” Rebecca A. Koopmann, Riccardo Giovanelli, Martha P. Haynes, Brian R. Kent, Thomas J. Balonek, Noah Brosch, James L. Higdon, John J. Salzer, Oded Spector, The Astrophysical Journal, 682, L85-L88 (2008).

“The multiple timescales of optical variability of the Blazar 3C 279 during the 2001-2002 outburst,” Jeyhan S. Kartaltepe [Colgate 2003]*, Thomas J. Balonek, The Astronomical Journal, 133, 2866-2882 (2007).

“The Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA Survey. III. H I Source Catalog of the Northern Virgo Cluster Region,” Riccardo Giovanelli, Martha P. Haynes, Brian R. Kent, Amélie Saintonge, Sabrina Stierwalt, Adeel Altaf, Thomas Balonek, Noah Brosch, Shea Brown, Barbara Catinella, Amy Furniss, Josh Goldstein, G. Lyle Hoffman, Rebecca A. Koopmann, David A. Kornreich, Bilal Mahmood, Ann M. Martin, Karen L. Masters, Arik Mitschang, Emmanuel Momjian, Prasanth H. Nair, Jessica L. Rosenberg, Brian Walsh [Colgate 2006]*, The Astronomical Journal, 133, 2569-2583 (2007).

“The unprecedented optical outburst of the quasar 3C 454.3. The WEBT campaign of 2004-2005,” M. Villata, C.M. Raiteri, T. J. Balonek, M.F. Aller, S.G. Jorstad, O.M. Kurtanidze, F. Nicastro, K. Nilsson, H.D. Aller, A. Arai, A. Arkharov, U. Bach, E. Benitez, A. Berdyugin, C.S. Buemi, M. Bottcher, D. Carosati, R. Casas, A. Caulet, W.P. Chen, P.-S. Chiang,Y. Chou, S. Ciprini, J.M. Coloma, G. di Rico, C. Diaz, N. V. Efimova, C. Forsyth [Bryn Mawr 2007]*, A. Frasca, L. Fuhrmann, B. Gadway [Colgate 2007]*, S. Gupta, V.A. Hagen-Thorn, J. Harvey, J. Heidt, H. Hernandez-Toledo, F. Hroch, C.-P. Hu, R. Hudec, M.A. Ibrahimov, A. Imada, M. Kamata, T. Kato, M. Katsuura, T. Konstantinova, E. Kopatskaya, D.Kotaka, Y.Y. Kovalev, Yu. A. Kovalev, T.P. Krichbaum, K. Kubota, M. Kurosaki, L. Lanteri, V. M. Larionov, L. Larionova, E. Laurikainen, C.-U. Lee, P. Leto,A. Lanteenmaki, O. Lopez-Cruz, E. Marilli, A.P. Marscher, I.M. McHardy, S. Mondal, B. Mullan [Colgate Univ. 2007]*, N. Napoleone, M.G. Nikolashvili, J.M. Ohlert, S. Postnikov, T. Pursimo, M. Ragni, J.A. Ros, K. Sadakane, K.; A.C. Sadun, T. Savolainen, E.A. Sergeeva, L. A. Sigua, A. Sillanpaa, L. Sixtova, N. Sumitomo, L.O. Takalo, H. Terasranta, M. Tornikoski, C. Trigilio, G. Umana, A. Volvach, B. Voss, S. Wortell [Colgate 2006]*, Astronomy and Astrophysics, 453, 817-822 (2006).

“Day-scale variability of 3C 279 and possible correlations in gamma-ray, x-ray, and optical bands,” R.C. Hartman, M. Villata, T.J. Balonek, D.L. Bertsch, H. Bock, M. Bottcher, M.T. Carini, W. Collmar, G. DeFrancesco, E.C. Ferrara, J. Heidt, G. Kanbach, S. Katajainen, M. Koskimies, O.M. Kurtanidze, L. Lanteri, A. Lawson, Y.C. Lin, A.P. Marscher, J.P. McFarland, I. McHardy, H.R. Miller, M. Nikolashvili, K. Nilsson, J.C. Noble, G. Nucciarelli, L. Ostorero, T. Pursimo, C.M. Raiteri, R. Rekola, T. Savalainen, A. Sillanpaa, A. Smale, G. Sobrito, L.O. Takalo, D.J. Thompson, G. Tosti, S.J. Wagner, J.W. Wilson, Astrophysical Journal, 558, 583-589, (2001).

“Deuterium in the Galactic Centre as a result of recent infall of low-metallicity gas,” D.A. Lubowich, J.M. Pasachoff, T.J. Balonek, T.J. Millar, C. Tremonti [Colgate 1994]*, H. Roberts, R.P. Galloway, Nature, 405, Issue 6790, 1025-1027 (2000).

“A Giant Herbig-Haro Flow from Haro 6-10,” D. Devine, B. Reipurth, J. Bally, T.J. Balonek, Astronomical Journal, 117, 2931-2940 (1999).

“Photometric calibration of stars in the fields of selected BL Lacertae objects and quasars,” P.S. Smith, T.J. Balonek, The Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 110, 1164-1171 (1998).

“Observations of a correlated gamma-ray and optical flare for BL Lacertae,” S.D. Bloom, D.L. Bertsch, R.C. Hartman, P. Sreekumar, D.J. Thompson, T.J. Balonek, E. Beckerman [Wesleyan 1999]*, S.M. Davis [Colgate 1997]*, K. Whitman [Cornell 2000]*, H.R. Miller, D. Nair, L.C. Roberts Jr., G. Tosti, E. Massaro, R. Nesci, M. Maesano, F. Montagni, M. Jang, H.A. Bock, M. Dietrich, M. Herter, K. Otterbein, M. Pfeiffer, T. Seitz, S. Wagner, Astrophysical Journal (Letters), 490, 145-148 (1997).

“Light curves of SN 1993J from the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium,” P.J. Benson, W. Herbst, J.J. Salzer, G. Vinton, G.J. Hanson, S.J. Ratcliff, P.F. Winkler, D.M. Elmegreen, F. Chromey, C. Strom [Colgate 1994]*, T.J. Balonek, B.G. Elmegreen, Astronomical Journal, 107, 1453-1460 (1994).

“Optical and ultraviolet observations of 3C 279 during outburst,” C.R. Shrader, J.R. Webb, T.J. Balonek, M.S. Brotherton, B.J. Wills, D. Wills, S.D. Godlin [Vassar 1994]*, A.G. Smith, B. McCollum, Astronomical Journal, 107, 904-909 (1994).

“The measurement of astronomical parallaxes with CCD imaging cameras on small telescopes,” S.J. Ratcliff, T.J. Balonek, L.A. Marschall, D.L. DuPuy, C.R. Pennypacker, R. Verma [Middlebury '92]*, A. Alexov, V. Bonney, American Journal of Physics, 61, 208-216 (1993).

“CCDs at small institution,” T. Balonek and F.R. Chromey, Proceedings of Astronomical Society of New York April 23-25, 1992 meeting (ed. A.G. Davis Philip), IV, No 2, 85-92 (1992).

“Steps toward the determination of the size and structure of the broad-line region in active galactic nuclei. II - An intensive study of NGC 5548 at optical wavelengths,” B.M. Peterson, T.J. Balonek, E.S. Barker, J. Bechtold, R. Bertram, N.G. Bochkarev, M.J. Bolte, D. Bond, T.A. Boroson, M.T. Carini, T.E. Carone, J.A. Christensen [Colgate 1990]*, S.D. Clements, A.L. Cochran, R.D. Cohen, D. Crampton, M. Dietrich, M. Elvis, A. Ferguson, A.V. Filippenko, K.J. Fricke, C.M. Gaskell, J.P. Halpern, J.P. Huchra, J.B. Hutchings, W. Kollatschny, A.P. Koratkar, K.T. Koritsa, J.H. Krolik, N.J. Lame, A. Laor, R.J. Leacock, G.M. MacAlpine, M.A. Malkan, D. Maoz, H.R. Miller, S.L. Morris, H. Netzer, C. Oliveira, J. Penfold, M.V. Penston, E. Perez, R.W. Pogge, M.W. Richmond, W. Romanishin, E.I. Rosenblatt, L. Saddlemyer, A. Sadun, S.R. Sawyer, J.C. Shields, A.I. Shapovalova, A.G. Smith, H.A. Smith, P.S. Smith, W.-H. Sun, U. Thiele, T.J. Turner, S. Veilleux, R.M. Wagner, R.J. Weymann, B.J. Wilkes, B.J. Wills, D. Wills, P.F. Younger, Astrophysical Journal, 368, 119-137 (1991).

“Optical and near-infrared observations of BL Lacertae objects and active quasars,” P.S. Smith, T.J. Balonek, R. Elston, P.A. Heckert, Astrophysical Journal Supplement, 64, 459-485 (1987).

“Observational constraints on bending the wide-angle tailed radio galaxy 1919+479,” J.O. Burns, C.P. O'Dea, S.A. Gregory, and T.J. Balonek, Astrophysical Journal, 307, 73-90 [+4 plates] (1986).

“Radio-optical broadband spectra and variability of quasars,” T.J. Balonek, Continuum Emission in Active Galactic Nuclei - Workshop Proceedings (ed. M.L. Sitko), 161-170 (1986).

“A rapid millimeter wave outburst in the nucleus of NGC 1275,” W.A. Dent, C.P. O'Dea, T.J. Balonek, R.W. Hobbs, R.J. Howard, Nature, 306, 41-42 (1983).

“Carbon monoxide observations of IRC 10442,” J. Bally, T.J. Balonek, N.L. Cohen, M. Zeilik, III, Astronomical Journal, 85, 1242-1246 (1980).

“A second correlated radio-optical outburst in the BL Lacertae-type quasi-stellar object 0235+164,” T.J. Balonek, W.A. Dent, Astrophysical Journal (Letters), 240, L3-L5 (1980).

“A dramatic radio outburst in the quasar 1921-29,” W.A. Dent, T.J. Balonek, Nature, 283, 747-748 (1980).

“The observation of a correlated time delayed radio-optical outburst in the quasar 0420-01,” W.A. Dent, T.J. Balonek, A.G. Smith, R.J. Leacock, Astrophysical Journal (Letters), 227, L9-L10 (1979).

“Discovery of a strong radio flaring in HR1099,” P.A. Feldman, A.R. Taylor, P.C. Gregory, E.R. Seaquist, T.J. Balonek, N.L. Cohen, Astronomical Journal, 83, 1471-1484 (1978).

“Optical identifications of sources in the Parkes 2.7-GHz selected-area surveys,” J.J. Condon, T.J. Balonek, D.L. Jauncey, Astronomical Journal, 81, 913-918 [+2 plates] (1976).

“Spectral intensity dependence and isotropy of sources stronger than 0.1 Jy at 2700 MHz,” T.J. Balonek, J.J. Broderick, J.J. Condon, D.F. Crawford, D.L. Jauncey, Astrophysical Journal, 201, 20-25 (1975).

“Observations of M31 and M33 at 1.4 and 2.7 GHz,” B. Dennison, T.J. Balonek, Y. Terzian, B. Balick, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 87, 83-86 (1975).

Selected Grants

“The Undergraduate ALFALFA Team,” National Science Foundation, 2007 - present

Colgate’s institutional representative on: “Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium,” 3 grants from National Science Foundation – Research Experiences for Undergraduates, primary institution: Wesleyan University, 2004 - present

Colgate’s institutional affiliate representative on: “NASA / New York Space Grant,” primary institution: Cornell University, 1997 – present

"Optical UBVRI Light Curves of Extragalactic Supernovae," American Astronomical Society - Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, 1994

Co-PI on: "Undergraduate Research in Observational Cosmology," New York State Pew Cluster, 1993

Colgate’s institutional representative on: "CCDs and Spectroscopy for Introductory and Intermediate Students," National Science Foundation - Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement (NSF-ILI), primary institution: Wellesley College, 1992

Colgate’s institutional representative on: “Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium - A Consortium of Astronomers at Eight Liberal Arts Colleges,” 5 grants from W.M. Keck Foundation, primary institution: Wellesley College, 1990 - 2002

"CCD Photometry of Quasars and Variable Stars," American Astronomical Society Small Research Grant Program, 1989

“High Sensitivity Charged Coupled Device (CCD) Imaging in Astronomy," National Science Foundation - College Science Instrumentation Program (NSF-CSIP), 1987

"Observations of the Broadband Optical-Radio Variability in Quasars and Active Galaxies," Research Corporation - William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, 1987

Professional Experience

Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Colgate University (2002-present)

Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Colgate University (1991-2002)

Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Colgate University (1985-91)

Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Colgate University (2008-11, 1995-1998)

Visiting Research Scientist, National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (2006-07)

Visiting Research Scientist, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Tucson, AZ (1992-93)

Visiting Assistant Professor of Astronomy, Williams College, Williamstown, MA (1983-85)

NASA-ASEE (National Aeronautics and Space Administration and American Society for Engineering Education) Summer Faculty Fellow, NASA-Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA (1983, 1984)

Post-Doctoral Research Associate and Lecturer I, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (1982-83)