UMass Lowell Image

Silas G.T. Laycock

Associate Professor

College of Sciences
(978) 934-3777
Olney Hall - 130


Neutron stars and black holes in X-ray binaries, pulsars, multi wavelength  astronomy, time domain astrophysics.

Research Interests

Astrophysics, Astronomy

Pulsars, Black Holes, Binary Stars, X-rays, High Energy Radiation, Optical Spectroscopy, Adaptive Optics


  • Ph D: Astronomy, (2003), University of Southampton - United Kingdom of Great Britain
    Supporting Area: Physics, Astrophysics
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: Long Term Behavior of High Mass X-ray Binaries
  • Other: Physics and Astronomy, (2002), UK Particle Physics and Astronomy research council studentship - UK
  • BS: Physics and Astronomy with honors, (1999), University of Southampton - Southampton, UK
  • MS: Physics and Astronomy with honors, (1999), University of Southampton - Southampton, UK


I joined UMass Lowell in Fall 2010, following postdoctoral research at Gemini Observatory and Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. I completed my Ph.D in Astronomy at the University of Southampton, UK in 2002.

Selected Publications

  • Laycock, S., Christodoulou, D., Williams, B.F., Binder, B., Prestwich, A. (2017). Blue Supergiant X-ray Binaries in the Nearby Dwarf Galaxy IC 10. arXiv preprint arXiv:1701.03803.
  • Laycock, S. (2017). From Blackbirds to Black Holes: Investigating Capture-Recapture Methods for Time Domain Astronomy. New Astronomy.
  • Steiner, J.F., Walton, D.J., Garcia, J.A., McClintock, J.E., Laycock, S., Middleton, M.J., Barnard, R., Madsen, K. (2016). On the Spin of the Black Hole in IC 10 X-1. The Astrophysical Journal.
  • Laycock, S., Steiner, J.F., Maccarone, T.J., Christodoulou, D., Binder, B.A., Yang, J., Cappallo, R. (2016). The Masses of Black Holes with Wolf-Rayet Companions (15:).
  • Laycock, S., Cappallo, R., Williams, B.F., Prestwich, A., Binder, B., Christodoulou, D. (2016). The X-ray Binary Population of the Nearby Dwarf Starburst Galaxy IC 10: Variable and Transient X-ray Sources. arXiv preprint arXiv:1611.08611.
  • Christodoulou, D., Laycock, S., Yang, J., Fingerman, S. (2016). Tracing the Lowest Propeller Line in Magellanic High-mass X-Ray Binaries. The Astrophysical Journal, 829(1) 30.
  • Laycock, S., Cappallo, R.C., Moro, M.J. (2015). Chandra and XMM Monitoring of the Black Hole X-ray Binary IC 10 X-1 (446: pp. 1399). Monthly Notices of The Royal Astronomical Society
  • Laycock, S., Maccarone, T.J., Christodoulou, D.M. (2015). Revisiting the Dynamical Case for a Massive Black Hole in IC10 X-1 . Monthly Notices of The Royal Astronomical Society, 452 L31.
  • Laycock, S., Cappallo, R., Oram, K., Balchunas, A. (2014). A Transient Supergiant X-Ray Binary in IC 10: An Extragalactic SFXT? The Astrophysical Journal, 789 64.
  • Laycock, S. (2014). A Decade in the Life of the Massive Black-Hole Binary IC10 X-1. 15 Years of Science with Chandra Symposium
  • Christodoulou, D.M., Laycock, S., Kazanas, D. (2014). The Magnetic Field of the Ultraluminous X-ray Pulsar M82 X-2. arXiv.
  • Laycock, S., Cappallo, R., Oram, K., Balchunas, A. (2014). A transient supergiant X-ray binary in IC 10: An extragalactic SFXT? Astrophysical Journal, 789(1) 64.
  • DEN BERG, M., PENNER, K., HONG, J., GRINDLAY, J.E., ZHAO, P., Laycock, S., SERVILLAT, M. (2012). THE ChaMPlane BRIGHT X-RAY SOURCES GALACTIC LONGITUDES l. The Astrophysical Journal, 748(1).
  • Berg, M.v., Penner, K., Hong, J., Grindlay, J.E., Zhao, P., Laycock, S., Servillat, M. (2012). The ChaMPlane bright X-ray sources-Galactic longitudes l= 2-358 deg. arXiv preprint arXiv:1201.5038.
  • van den Berg, M., Penner, K., Hong, J., Grindlay, J.E., Zhao, P., Laycock, S., Servillat, M. (2012). THE ChaMPlane BRIGHT X-RAY SOURCES-GALACTIC LONGITUDES l=2 degrees-358 degrees. Astrophysical Journal, 748(1) 31-31.
  • Los, E., Grindlay, J., Tang, S., Servillat, M., Laycock, S. (2011). The DASCH Data Processing Pipeline and Multiple Exposure Plate Processing. arXiv preprint arXiv:1102.4871.
  • Tang, S., Grindlay, J., Los, E., Laycock, S. (2010). DASCH Discovery of Large Amplitude 10-100 Year Variability in K Giants. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 710(1).
  • Laycock, S., Drake, J.J. (2009). A Flaring X-ray Source with an H -Bright Counterpart Toward the Small Magellanic Cloud. The Astrophysical Journal, 701(1).
  • Hong, J., Van, d.B., Laycock, S., Grindlay, J.E., Zhao, P. (2009). Chandra Discovery of an Intermediate Polar in Baade's Window. The Astrophysical Journal, 699(2).
  • Laycock, S., Drake, J.J. (2009). CXO J005428. 9-723107. The Astrophysical Journal, 701 12-17.
  • Hong, J., Van, d.B., Grindlay, J.E., Laycock, S. (2009). Radial Distribution of X-ray Point Sources near the Galactic Center. The Astrophysical Journal, 706(1).
  • Wilson, C.A., Finger, M.H., Coe, M.J., Laycock, S., Fabregat, J. (2008). A decade in the life of EXO 2030+ 375: a multiwavelength study of an accreting X-ray pulsar. The Astrophysical Journal, 570(1).
  • Laycock, S., Drake, J.J. (2008). A Flaring X-ray Source with an Halpha-bright Counterpart toward the SMC. arXiv preprint arXiv:0811.1662.
  • Zhao, P., Grindlay, J.E., Hong, J.S., Laycock, S., Koenig, X.P., Schlegel, E.M., van, d.B. (2008). ChaMPlane Optical Survey: Mosaic Photometry. The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 161(2).
  • Laycock, S., Dosaj, A., Hoenig, M. (2008). Close Double-Stars Discovered among Photometric Standards with Gemini Altair Adaptive Optics System: FS108 and GSPC P309-U. The Astronomer's Telegram, 1729.
  • Koenig, X., Grindlay, J.E., van, d.B., Laycock, S., Zhao, P., Hong, J., Schlegel, E.M. (2008). Investigating ChaMPlane X-ray sources in the Galactic Bulge with Magellan LDSS2 spectra. The Astrophysical Journal, 685(1).
  • Penner, K., Berg, M.v., Hong, J., Laycock, S., Zhao, P., Grindlay, J. (2008). The Brightest Serendipitous X-ray Sources in ChaMPlane. arXiv preprint arXiv:0803.2565.
  • Hong, J., van, d.B., Schlegel, E.M., Grindlay, J.E., Koenig, X., Laycock, S., Zhao, P. (2008). X-ray processing of champlane fields: Methods and initial results for selected anti-galactic center fields. The Astrophysical Journal, 635(2).
  • Laycock, S. (2003). Long-term behaviour of high-mass X-ray binaries.
  • Wilson, C.A., Finger, M.H., Coe, M.J., Laycock, S., Fabregat, J. (2002). Accreting X-Ray Pulsar EXO 2030+ 375. The Astrophysical Journal, 570 287-302.

Selected Presentations

  • Exploring the Time Evolution of Luminosity and Pulse Profile in X-Ray Pulsars - American Astronomical Society Meeting 225, January 2015 - Seattle, WA

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Vision Project (2012), Grant - Mass Division of higher Ed.
  • PI: Chandra-Galactic bulge latitude survey (2007), Grant -
  • Chandra-X-ray pulsars in the wing of the small magellanic cloud (2006), Grant -
  • PI: Chandra- Deep X-ray survey of the small Magellanic cloud (2006), Grant -
  • Chandra- Galatic bulge Chandra HST survey (2005), Grant -
  • Understanding the Time Evolution of Luminosity and Accretion Structures in X-Ray (2014), Grant -
    Laycock, S. (Principal)
  • A new Laboratory for Astrophysics (2010), Grant - NASA/SAO
  • X-Ray Binaries in a Nearby Starburst Galaxy: A New Lab For Astrophysics (Chandra (2010), Grant - NATIONAL AERO AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
    Laycock, S. (Principal)
  • PI: Chandra-X-ray binaries in a near-by starbust galaxy (2010), Grant -