Kyle A. Corcoran

Astronomy Ph. D. Candidate

University of Virginia


My name is Kyle Corcoran, and I am a fourth-year, Ph. D. candidate in astronomy at the University of Virginia.  I work with Dr. Scott Ransom from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), and my research focuses on observations and time-domain studies of various stellar binaries.  Observing, whether that be on world-class, large-aperture facilities or just a small-aperture telescope, is something very close to my heart and a cornerstone of my research.  One unique aspect of my work is that I observe and analyze data from different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.  This means that when Scott and I aren't discussing potential radio detections of a pulsar, I might be analyzing the optical spectra of a white dwarf or looking at high-energy-photon light curves of a "spider" binary.  I'm also interested in computational methods for analyzing data and astrophysical systems, and I one day hope to have even 1/10th the knowledge on this topic that Scott does.

I did my undergraduate work at High Point University, graduating with honors and summa cum laude with a degree in physics (B.S.) and a double major in mathematics (B.A.) with a research concentration in astrophysics.  While there, I had the amazing opportunity to work with Dr. Brad Barlow for three years studying various sdB systems, joining him as a research assistant on a NSF AST grant the first in HPU’s history.

I came to astrophysics on a somewhat interesting path as my schools never really had any astronomy or physics courses, rarely even mentioning them.  I was always curious, though, so I would read articles online from time to time — always wanting to pursue the field further but never really thinking I could achieve those goals.  When I went to HPU for undergrad, Brad showed me how I could flourish in the field.  He guided me through many research projects, presentations, and life in general.  He and the physics faculty at HPU have made all the difference in my education and pushing me to be who I am today.

Below I have provided a brief overview of information that you will find under different sections of this site.  In addition, I have both a Recent News/Events and an Upcoming News/Events section that will keep you up to date with what I have been and will be up to.

Upcoming News/Events


Recent Highlights

March 7, 2023: My research note reporting on some of our GBT searches of spider candidates was published in RNAAS.

January 9-12, 2023: I was in Seattle, WA attending AAS 241 and presenting on some of our work with spiders.

May 21, 2022: I was awarded the Laurence W. Fredrick Teaching Award by the UVA Astronomy Department for my work as a TA for the graduate observing course.

May 911, 2022: A DDT proposal I submitted for the GBT was accepted, and we performed the observations.

April 39, 2022: We took Ellorie on her first Disney family vacation!

April 1, 2022: Ellorie and I put out a paper on the prospect of adding dark mode to astronomical journals.

February 16—18: I participated in a workshop to get trained to observe with the GBT.

January 8, 2022: Baby Ellorie made her arrival! 

December 21, 2021: A paper on the results of a TESS Cycle 2 survey of sdBs that I participated in was accepted for publication in ApJ and the pre-print was released on arXiv.

November 415, 2021: I was traveling through Arizona and New Mexico and observing at APO with the UVa ASTR 5110 graduate class (my TA class this semester).

September 1, 2021: My paper on a deeply sdB+dM system we found with the SOAR 4.1-m telescope was published in ApJ.

February 24, 2021: My paper on using APOGEE data to analyze properties and orbits of WDMS binaries was published in AJ.

January 15, 2021: I gave a presentation at AAS 237 on some work collaborators and I have done to characterize sdBs with TESS.