Daniel Castro


About Me

first... introductions

Profile Picture

Since March 2017, I am an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), where I work as part of the Chandra X-ray Center Mission Planning Team.

I am a proud alumnus of Atlantic College (UWCAC), the University of Edinburgh and Universidad Simón Bolívar, and I completed my doctoral thesis at the CfA as a Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellow, with support of my thesis advisor Pat Slane .

After working at the MIT-Kavli Institute for Space Research as a Chandra/HETG Postdoctoral Associate, I moved to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center where I spent time as a Visiting Scientist and NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow, and joined the Fermi-LAT team.

In addition to working closely with the Fermi-LAT team at NASA-Goddard on mission monitoring, data analysis and science, I have taken an active role in helping develop the next generation of space-based gamma-ray observatories (such as the All-Sky Medium Energy Gamma-ray Observatory, AMEGO), as well as serving as working group member in the collaborations behind the design of the future Athena and Lynx X-ray instrument projects.

my job and academic timelines

... a quick and easy view of what I have been up to



March 2017 - Present

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics


NPP Postdoctoral Fellow

Nov 2016 - March 2017

NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center


Visiting Scientist / Assistant Research Professor

Nov 2015 - Nov 2016

NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center
George Mason University


Chandra-HETG Postdoctoral Associate

Oct 2011 - Oct 2015

Massachusetts Institute of Technology



DPhys (Hons)


Universidad Simón Bolívar, Venezuela

Doctorate in Physics with Honors
Thesis: Cosmic Ray Acceleration in Supernova Remnants
Thesis Advisor: Dr. Patrick Slane, CfA

MPhys (Hons)


University of Edinburgh, UK

Master of Physics, Honours in Astrophysics



United World College of the Atlantic, UK

International Baccalaureate degree. Galileo Scholarship Award from the Fundación Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho


My research interests are in the field of high energy astrophysics, and in particular the study of supernova remnants (SNRs), pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) and pulsars. The bulk of my work is focused on X-ray and gamma ray observations of SNRs and PWNe, as well as analytical and computational approaches to the understanding of particle acceleration in these systems.

some of my work

(click on each image for more info)

full publication list

24. Search for extended sources in the Galactic Plane using 6 years of Fermi-Large Area Telescope Pass 8 data above 10 GeV
Ackermann, M. et al., (The Fermi LAT Collaboration) 2017, ApJ, Submitted for Publication (arXiv:1702.00476)

23. Cosmic-ray electron+positron spectrum from 7 GeV to 2 TeV with the Fermi Large Area Telescope
Abdollahi, S. et al., (The Fermi LAT Collaboration) 2017, Physical Review D, 95, 082007

22. The Refined Shock Velocity of the X-Ray Filaments in the RCW 86 Northeast Rim
Yamaguchi, H., Katsuda, S., Castro, D., Williams, B. J., Lopez, L. A., Slane, P. O., Smith, R. K., Petre , R. 2016, ApJL, 820, L3

21. Fermi-LAT Observations of Supernova Remnant G5.7-0.1, Believed to be Interacting with Molecular Clouds
Joubert, T., Castro, D., Slane, P. O., Gelfand, J. 2015, ApJ, 816, 63

20. Searching for keV Sterile Neutrino Dark Matter with X-Ray Microcalorimeter Sounding Rockets
Figueroa-Feliciano, E., Anderson, A.J., Castro, D., Goldfinger, D.C., Rutherford, J., Eckart, M.E., Kelley, R.L., Kilbourne, C.A., McCammon, D., Morgan, K., Porter, F.S. & Szymkowiak, A.E. 2015, ApJ, 814, 82

19. Multi-wavelength analysis of supernova remnant MSH 11-61A
Auchettl, K., Slane, P. O., & Castro, D., Foster, A. R., Smith, R. K. 2015, ApJ, 810, 43

18. Supernova Remnants Interacting with Molecular Clouds: X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Signatures
Slane, P. O., Bykov, A., Ellison, D. C., Dubner, G., Castro, D., 2015, Space Science Reviews, 188, 187

17. The Role of Stellar Feedback in the Dynamics of H II Regions
Lopez, L. A., Krumholz, M., Bolatto, A., Prochaska, J., Ramirez-Ruiz, E., & Castro, D. 2014, ApJ, 795, 121

16. Identification Of A Jet-Driven Supernova Remnant In The Small Magellanic Cloud: Evidence For The Enhancement Of Bipolar Explosions At Low Metallicity
Lopez, L. A., Castro, D., Slane, P. O., Ramirez-Ruiz, E. 2014, ApJ, 788, 5

15. Discriminating The Progenitor Type Of Supernova Remnants With Iron K-Shell Emission
Yamaguchi, H., Badenes, C., Petre, R., Nakano, T., Castro, D., Enoto, T., Hiraga, J. S., Hughes, J. P., Maeda, Y., Nobukawa, M., Safi-Harb, S., Slane, P. O., Smith, R. K., & Uchida, H., 2014, ApJL, 785, L27

14. A CR-hydro-NEI Model of the Structure and Broadband Emission from Tycho’s SNR
Slane, P. O., Lee, S-H., Ellison, D. C., Patnaude, D. J., Hughes, J. P., Eriksen, K. A., Castro, D., Nagataki, S. 2014, ApJ, 783, 33

13. Fermi-LAT Observations of Supernova Remnant Kesteven 79
Auchettl, K., Slane, P. O., & Castro, D. 2014, ApJ, 783, 32

12. A Chandra View of Nonthermal Emission in Northwestern Region of Supernova Remnant RCW 86: Particle Acceleration and Magnetic Fields
Castro, D., Lopez, L. A., Ramirez-Ruiz, E., Yamaguchi, H., Slane, P. O., Figueroa-Feliciano E. 2013, ApJ, 779, 49

11. Supernova Remnant Kes 17: Efficient Cosmic Ray Accelerator Inside a Molecular Cloud
Gelfand, J. D., Castro, D., Slane, P. O., Temim, T., Hughes, J. P. 2013, ApJ, 777, 148

10. Unraveling the Origin of Overionized Plasma in the Galactic Supernova Remnant W49B
Lopez, L. A., Pearson, S., Ramirez-Ruiz, E., Castro, D., Yamaguchi, H., Slane, P. O., Smith, R., 2013, ApJ, 777, 145

9. Fermi-LAT Observations of Supernova Remnants Interacting with Molecular Clouds: W41, MSH 17-39, and G337.7-0.1
Castro, D., Slane, P. O., Carlton, A., & Figueroa-Feliciano, E. 2013, ApJ, 774, 36

8. High-Energy Emission from the Composite Supernova Remnant MSH 15-56
Temim, T., Slane, P. O., Plucinsky, P., Gelfand, J. D., Castro, D. 2013, ApJ, 768, 61

7. The Supernova Remnant W49B Originates From A Jet-Driven Core-Collapse Explosion
Lopez, L. A., Ramirez-Ruiz, E., Castro, D., Pearson, S. 2013, ApJ, 764, 50

6. Fermi-LAT Observations and a Broadband Study of Supernova Remnant CTB 109
Castro, D., Slane, P. O., Ellison, D. C., & Patnaude, D. J. 2012b, ApJ, 756, 88

5. A Broadband Study of the Emission from the Composite Supernova Remnant MSH 11–62
Slane, P. O., Hughes, J. P., Temim, T., Rousseau, R., Castro, D., Foight, D., Gaensler, B. M., Funk, S., Lemoine-Goumard, M., Gelfand, J. D., Moffett, D. A., Dodson, R. G., Bernstein, J. P., 2012, ApJ, 749, 131

4. An XMM-Newton Study of the Bright, Nearby Supernova Remnant G296.1-0.5
Castro, D., Slane, P. O., Gaensler, B., Hughes, J. P., & Patnaude, D. J. 2011a, ApJ, 734, 86

3. The Impact of Efficient Particle Acceleration on the Evolution of Supernova Remnants in the Sedov-Taylor Phase
Castro, D., Slane, P. O., Patnaude, D. J., & Ellison, D. C. 2011b, ApJ, 734, 85

2. Fermi Detection of the Pulsar Wind Nebula HESS J1640-465
Slane, P. O., Castro, D., Funk, S., Uchiyama, Y., Lemiere, A., Gelfand, J. D., & Lemoine-Goumard, M. 2010, ApJ, 720, 266

1. Fermi LAT Observations of Supernova Remnants Interacting with Molecular Clouds
Castro, D., & Slane, P. O. 2010, ApJ, 717, 372


having a broader impact

The problem solving ability and overall efficiency of groups of people are enhanced when they benefit from diversity of perspectives and skills. As a matter of fact, we are often most creative, productive, and effective when we work in groups formed by people with diverse backgrounds. Hence, increasing inclusion and diversity in astronomy is not only a matter of equity and social justice (which are extremely important in their own right), it is crucial for astrophysical research to reach its full potential.


the united world colleges and avemundo...

A very important aspect of my background is my connection with the United World College (UWC) movement, since I graduated from the United World College of the Atlantic (aka Atlantic College, AC) in Wales. The UWCs are a set of IB-granting schools spread around the globe focused on community service, multicultural and multisocietal experiences, as well as academics. My time at AC was fantastic, and the cultural, ethnical and social diversity of the school had a great impact on how I understand the world, and our role within our communities.

Profile Picture

After finishing at University of Edinburgh, I returned to Venezuela where I became part of the AVEMUNDO (aka UWC Venezuela) , from 2004 to 2009, acting as President in 2005-2006.

In 2016 I co-founded UWC-Venezuela-DC in Washington, DC. This non-profit organization aims at raising funds on behalf of AVEMUNDO to make scholarships available to Venezuelan students to attend UWCs. Keep tuned for links on how to contribute!


60 Garden Street, MS6
Cambridge, MA 02138


daniel.castro at cfa.harvard.edu


(617) 495-8273