Skip to Main Content

Weather AlertParking ban begins 10 p.m. 1/19/19. Lowell and Haverhill campuses closed, move-in and activities canceled 1/20/19. Visit for more info.

Silas Laycock

UMass Lowell Image
Professor Silas G.T. LaycockAssistant Professor
  • College
    College of Sciences
  • Department
  • Phone
    (978) 934-3777
  • Office
    Olney Hall - 130
  • Email

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 pp. 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", Monthly Notices of The Royal Astronomical Society 446: pp. 1399
  • 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: pp. 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: pp. 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 pp. 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 pp. 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: pp. 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: pp. 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 -