Bethany Cobb Kung

Bethany Cobb Kung

Assistant Professor of Honors and Physics
Address: University Honors Program
714 21st Street
Room 208
Washington, District Of Columbia
Phone: 202-994-6046

Dr. Bethany Cobb Kung, is an astronomer who received her Ph.D. at Yale University in 2008 for research on massive stellar explosions called gamma-ray bursts. From 2008 - 2010 she did research at the University of California, Berkeley as a National Science Foundation Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow. She is a profound science-fiction geek. She also enjoys sharing her love of astronomy with anyone who will listen!


Dr. Bethany Cobb Kung's research interests include gamma-ray bursts and supernovae and various other time-domain astronomy topics (including cataclysmic variables and microquasars). She uses telescopes around the globe, including telescopes in Chile, Arizona and Hawaii, to study these phenomena at optical and infrared wavelengths. Recently, she used two telescopes in Chile (a 1.3m telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory and the 8m Gemini-South telescope on Cerro Pach0n) to discover a supernova (SN 2009nz) associated with a gamma-ray burst that occurred on November 27, 2009.

Selected Publications

"Reaching Out" Columnist for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's "Mercury" Magazine:

"Public Audiences are Different'', Summer 2011

"Risk and Reward'', Winter 2011

"Teaching Science to Adult Learners'', Summer 2010

"Dance as Astronomical Outreach'', Winter 2010

Cenko, S. B., Frail, D. A., Harrison, F. A., Haislip, J. B., Reichart, D. E., Butler, N. R., Cobb, B. E., Cucchiara, A., Berger, E., Bloom, J. S., Chandra, P., Fox, D. B., Perley, D. A., Prochaska, J. X., Filippenko, A. V., Glazebrook, K., Ivarsen, K. M., Kasliwal, M. M., Kulkarni, S. R., LaCluyze, A. P., Lopez, S., Morgan, A. N., Pettini, M., Rana, V. R., "Afterglow Observations of Fermi Large Area Telescope Gamma-ray Bursts and the Emerging Class of Hyper-energetic Events", 2011, ApJ, 732, 29

Buratti, B. J., Bauer, J. M., Hicks, M. D., Hillier, J. K., Verbiscer, A., Hammel, H., Schmidt, B., Cobb, B., Herbert, B., Garsky, M., Ward, J., Foust, J., "Photometry of Triton 1992-2004: Surface volatile transport and discovery of a remarkable opposition surge", 2011, Icarus, 212, 835

Cobb, B. E., Bloom, J. S., Perley, D. A., Morgan, A. N., Cenko, S. B., Filippenko, A. V., "Discovery of SN 2009nz Associated with GRB 091127'', 2010, ApJ Letters, 718, 150

Cobb, B. E., Bailyn, C. D., "Connecting GRBs and Galaxies: The Probability of Chance Coincidence'', 2008, ApJ, 677, 1157

Cobb, B. E., Bailyn, C. D., van Dokkum, P. G., & Natarajan, P. "Could GRB 060614 and its Presumed Host Galaxy be a Chance Superposition?'', 2006, ApJ Letters, 651, L85

Cobb, B. E., Bailyn, C. D., van Dokkum, P. G., & Natarajan, P. "SN 2006aj and the Nature of Low-Luminosity Gamma-Ray Bursts'', 2006, ApJ Letters, 645, L113

Neil, Ethan T., Bailyn, Charles D., and Cobb, Bethany E."Infrared Monitoring of the Microquasar GRS 1915+105: Detection of Orbital and Superhump Signatures'', 2007, ApJ, 657, 409


Ph.D. 2008, Yale University
M.Phil. 2004, Yale University
M.S. 2003, Yale University
B.A. 2002, Williams College