About Me

Hello! I'm Julia Falcone, a third-year graduate student originally from the great state of New Jersey going for my PhD in Astronomy at Georgia State University. I work under Professor Mike Crenshaw on active galactic nuclei (AGN) processes. Check below for more details on that!

In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching movies, knitting, taking walks, and sewing. I'm known to make clothes from scratch, so my bedroom is sometimes littered with pins that I may or may not have accidentally stepped on in the middle of the night.

I am also engaged in committees and groups advocating for better conditions for graduate students, especially as it relates to low stipends. I have presented my research on this topic to the Graduate Council of the College of Arts and Sciences, spoken at length to a couple of the school's deans about this issue, and have organized other graduate students passionate about the same issues. If you are a graduate student curious about the work I have done at GSU, please don't hesitate to contact me!

Feel free to shoot me an email at jfalcone2 [at] gsu.edu !

My Research

    Active Galactic Nuclei Outflows | Advisor: Dr. Mike Crenshaw

    Looking towards the center of NGC 3227, we see signatures of ionized [O III] emission, shown here in white. The green and blue lines (representing the Hubble STIS spectrograph and APO DIS spectrograph, repectively) show the placement of slits from which we have obtained long-slit spectroscopy.
    At the center of every galaxy is a supermassive black hole (SMBH) that can have the mass of over 1 billion Suns. An active galactic nucleus (AGN) is a supermassive black hole that is actively feeding from an accretion disk rotating at very high speeds around it. As material is falling from the accretion disk into the SMBH, enormous amounts of radiation is released, which is often bright enough to rival the luminosity of the entire galaxy. This radiation both ionizes the gas in the surrounding narrow-line region (NLR) and pushes it away from the SMBH, creating a feedback process in the form of AGN outflows. I study the kinematics of the ionized outflows in the galaxy NGC 3227 to further understand the interplay between these outflows and the host galaxy.

    Some of the techniques I use in my research involve the reduction and analysis of the Kitt Peak Ohio State Multi-Object Spectrograph (KOSMOS) at Apache Point Observatory (APO), where I currently have over 150 hours of observing experience. I have been involved in testing a Gaussian fitting routine called BEAT (see Fischer et al. 2017) to fit our spectra, and have made significant improvements to another fitting routine that utilizes BEAT to create self-consistent spectral fits across the visible spectrum. Specifically, I have implemented a method in the latter routine to fit Seyfert 1 spectra, which contain characteristic broad emission at Balmer line wavelengths.

    E+A Galaxies | Advisor: Dr. Charles Liu

    Image credit: Sloan Digital Sky Survey
    The evolutionary stage between star-forming spiral galaxies and passive elliptical galaxies isn't well understood. Since 2016, I have been studying this elusive transitory phase by searching through the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to identify E+A galaxies. These galaxies are characterized by an era of starburst followed by sudden and total quenching within the last gigayear, and are thought to be the rare middle piece in this transition. In particular, my group is interested in nearby galaxy clusters (namely Virgo, Coma, and Leo), and the noteworthy prevalence of E+As within them. By studying these galaxies, we hope to learn more about the impact of cluster environments on galaxy evolution.

Selected Publications, Posters, and Presentations

  • Falcone, J. , Crenshaw, D. M., Fischer, T., Meena, B., Revalski, M., Polack, G., Shea, M., Chapman, Z. (2022, June). An Analysis of AGN-Driven Outflows in the Seyfert 1 Galaxy NGC 3227. Poster presented at the 240th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The virtual poster is available to see  here.
  • Revalski, M., Crenshaw, D. M., Rafelski, M., Kraemer, S., […], Falcone, J. Quantifying Feedback from Narrow Line Region Outflows in Nearby Active Galaxies. IV. The Effects of Different Density Estimates on the Ionized Gas Masses and Outflow Rates , 2022, ApJ, 930, 14.
  • Falcone, J. et al. 2021, E+A Galaxies in and Around Nearby Rich Clusters of Galaxies. RNAAS, 5, 3, 67.
  • Falcone, J. et al. (2021, January.) E+A Galaxies In and Around Nearby Rich Clusters of Galaxies. Poster presented at the 237th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The virtual poster is avaiable to see here.
      + co-author on seven other posters presented at this meeting


    Since the summer of 2021, I have been a Graduate Lead in the Georgia Outreach Team for Space (or GOT Space), an outreach program affiliated with the Georgia Space Grant Consortium, the National Science Foundation, Georgia Institute of Technology, and a few other universities. As a lead organizer, some of my responsibilities include coordinating outreach events with educators, partaking in outreach events (which you can see in the image on the left!), and overseeing the content to be presented at outreach events.

    Since the fall of 2021, I have also been the co-representative for the Department of Physics and Astronomy's Publicity & Outreach committee. This appointment goes hand-in-hand with my involvement in GOT Space, as I oversee and coordinate outreach efforts that are administered by or to the department.