B-G’s Home Page

Welcome to the research web-site of B-G Andersson, a Swedish astronomer working at McDonald Observatory, University of Texas at Austin, as the Assistant Director for Research Support. (Based in Austin)

McDonald Observatory, located in West Texas. The two domes in the center house the 2.1m and 2.7m telescopes, while the dome in the center background houses the 10m Hobby-Eberly telescope 

Before this, I spent 16-years with the SOFIA observatory, including as Associate Director for Science Operations.  I also worked for the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) mission out of Johns Hopkins University and in various positions at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

At the ESO observatory on La Silla, Chile, in 2014
Me, as interpreted by Yong Zheng, at the MIPS workshop at the Esalen Institute in February 2016

My research interests center on interstellar medium (ISM) physics and in particular the transition from molecular to atomic gas in interstellar clouds, and on the mechanisms responsible for aligning dust grains [with the magnetic fields] in the ISM.
A couple of years ago Alex Lazarian and Thiem Hoang very generously stated in their paper (Lazarian & Hoang, 2019, ApJ, 883, p124) that:

The basic predictions of the RAT theory have been tested extensively, in particular, by B-G Anderson and his collaborators (see Andersson et al. 2015).

(my added italics – warms my heart…
Thanks, guys!)

One exciting thing – for me – about working at McDonald Observatory is that it was there, on the 82″ telescope, that Al Hiltner discovered interstellar polarization in 1949 (My first polarimetry runs were also on that telescope! – albeit much later)

At the statue of Tycho Brahe on the grounds of the Uraniborg ruins on Ven (no credits for figuring out who is Tycho and who is me)
At the statue of Tycho Brahe on the grounds of the Uraniborg ruins on Ven (no credits for figuring out who is Tycho and who is me)

I received my PhD (well, technically a “Fil. Dr.”) from the University of Gothenburg (Göteborgs Universitet), Sweden, working with Peter Wannier. My thesis was entitled “Over the Edge; On the astrophysics of interstellar cloud halos” and my faculty opponent at my defense was the Nobel Laureate Dr. Robert Wilson.

Peter Wannier (middle) with his last two graduate students: Raghvendra Sahai (right) and me (left). Picture taken in August 2016.

I’ve worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Johns Hopkins University and the SOFIA Science Center, located at NASA Ames.

I’ve held visiting or part time (teaching or research) positions at Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, UCLA, USC, U Toledo and currently at UCSC.

The SOFIA Science Center staff  had two chapters in the Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysics in 2015.   One by myself, Alex Lazarian and John Vaillancourt and one by Adwin Boogert, Perry Gerakines and Dough Whittet.  Here’s a picture from the “Book Release Party” we threw at the SOFIA building

At the “Publication Party” for the 2015 edition of ARA&A, at the SOFIA Science Center. From left: Adwin Boogert (and his son), John Vaillancourt, Alan Stonebreaker (graphics editor, AR), B-G Andersson, Mark Marley (NASA Ames) and Roselyn Lowe-Webb (editor, AR)

The AAS put me and Tommy Wiklind (CUA) on the banner for one of their e-mail today (Dec 2, 2016).   Two Swedes enticing Americans to attend the AAS (in Grapevine) – of which I am, indeed, a member in good standing order.

Left panel: Tommy Wilkind (black blazer) and me chatting at the Orlando AAS in January 2016

Then, at the AAS meeting 231 in D.C. (Jan 2018), I organized and chaired the SOFIA Town Hall.  (And, “The motion carried”)

SOFIA Town Hall, 2018
At the SOFIA Town Hall – AAS meeting 231 – at the Gaylord National Harbor hotel. Thursday January 11, 2018. Photo by © CorporateEventImages/Phil McCarten 2018

Flew my 10th SOFIA mission on Feb 9/10, 2017, observing [C II] in IC 59 and IC 63 with upGREAT.

Flying on SOFIA
Selfie at 43,000ft – aboard SOFIA
Video from a recent upGREAT flight:

The French science agency CNRS recorded the SOFIA observing experience by our GI Olivier Berne.  Towards the end of the video yours truly discusses some of the advantages of SOFIA.

Almost Famous:

Spoke at the Astronomy on Tab, South Bay, on September 26, 2018:


I ‘m still working on this site, so bear with me while I populate and (hopefully) enhance it.

Per Aspera – Ad Astra!
(- Damn it!)