I am an extragalactic astronomer with a particular focus on the study of the role of magnetic fields in galaxy evolution. My research characterizes the feeding material onto super massive black holes at the center of active galaxies and the structure of the magnetic field in their host galaxies.
I am currently a Research Scientist at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics & Cosmology (KIPAC) at Stanford University. I am leading the efforts for the characterization of magnetic fields in galaxies using infrared polarimetric observations.
SALSA: SOFIA Legacy Program (PI: Lopez-Rodriguez & Mao) to construct a comprehensive empirical picture of the magnetic field strength and structure in the multiphase interstellar medium of galaxies. Survey of extragalactic magnetism using SOFIA (SALSA Legacy Program)
I study the magnetic fields in the multi-phase ISM of galaxies with the ultimate goal of quantifying the role of magnetic fields in galaxy evolution. This work is performed using radio and infrared polarimetric observations and velocity tracers with the largest and most sensitive observatories.
My research is focused on the study of the dusty and clumpy obscuring structure surrounding the black hole and accretion disk in active galactic nuclei. I study the dusty torus using a hydrodynamical framework.
I supported the commisioning and early-science products of:
- HAWC+: far-infrared polarimeter onboard SOFIA.
- MMT-Pol: near-infraed polarimeter, in conjuntion with the adaptive optics system on the 6.5-m MMT.
- CanariCam: mid-infrared polarimeter on the 10.4-m Gran Telescopio CANARIAS.
I am a member of the TMT ISDT: Supermassive Black Hole, and Time Domain. My current participation is focused on enhancing the potential areas that may benefit from the availability of polarimetric capabilities with the TMT in the Detailed Science Case 2015.
I am the PI of the Key Science Project "Towards a Dynamical AGN Tori" as part of the TMT/GMT collaboration.
I am also a member of MICHI, an MIR instrument for possible construction of the TMT.
I have published a total of 67 peer-reviewed papers with 21 as first author as of June 2023.
Full bibliography can be found at My ADS
The size and strength of the B-fields surrounding active galactic nuclei (AGN) are intrinsically related to the strength of the jet power -- the stronger the jet power is, the larger and stronger the toroidal B-field is.2023b, (Accepted for publication)
The Antennae galaxies have a ~8.9 kpc scale well-ordered B-fields connecting both galaxies. The B-fields in the dense and cold interstelar medium (ISM) are different that those in the diffuse and warm ISM.2023a, ApJ, 942, 13
First results of the Survey of extragalactic magnetism with SOFIA (SALSA) Legacy Program.2022b, ApJ, 936, 92
Implementation and characterization of the on-the-fly-mapping (OTFMAP) polarimetric mode of HAWC+/SOFIA to observe magnetic fields in galaxies. The OTFMAP polarimetric mode offers a reduction of observing overheads by a factor 2.34 and an improvement in sensitivity by a factor 1.80 when compared to the same on-source time polarimetric observations using the chopping and nodding mode.2022a, ApJ, 914, 24
Characterization of the magnetic fields in the starburst ring of NGC 1097. The gas streams outside and within the starburst ring follow the magnetic field, which feeds the black hole with matter from the host galaxy.2021b, ApJ, 923, 150
Centaurus A has a warped magnetic field tightly following the fast rotating and distorted molecular disk. The magnetic field is amplified via small-scale turbulent fields due to the galaxy merger.2021b, Nature Astronomy, 5, 604
Collaborative work with solar physicists, which provides a novel approach to quantify the effects of outflows on galactic magnetic fields as well as their influence on the intergalactic medium and evolution of energetic particles. We concluded that the magnetic field in the starburst galaxy M82 is 'open', providing a direct channel between the starburst core and the intergalactic medium.2021a, ApJ, 914, 24
First detection of magnetically aligned dust grains in the dusty torus of an AGN, thanks to the ALMA polarimetric observations at a resolution of 0.07" (4.2 pc) in Band 7 (860 um).2020b, ApJ, 893, 33
First detection of a galactic spiral magnetic field by means of thermal emission from magnetically aligned dust grains in the grand design spiral galaxy NGC 1068.2020a, ApJ, 888, 66
1-13 μm polarimetric observations reveal a diverse set of physical processes responsible for the nuclear polarization of AGN. Radio-Quiet AGN show low polarized cores arising from extended dust, while Radio-Loud AGN show high polarized cores arising from a compact dusty and magnetically driven torus.2018c, MNRAS, 478, 2350
Far-infrared polarimetry suggests that a coherent dusty and magnetic field structure dominates the 10-100 μm emission around the AGN of Cygnus A.2018b, ApJ, 861, 23
The morphology of the dust emission in our 2D image at 432 μm is spatially coincident with the cloud distribution, while the morphology of the emission in the 1-20 μm wavelength range shows an elongated morphology perpendicular to the cloud distribution. We find that our 2D CLUMPY torus image at 12 μm can produce comparable results to those observed using IR interferometry2018a, ApJ, 859, 99
A dusty structure of scales of few pc dominates the infrared polarization of Mrk 231. The most plausible polarization mechanism is dust scattering.2017, MNRAS, 464, 1762
High-angular imaging- and spectro-polarimetric mid-infrared observations reveal the jet-ionization cones interaction in NGC 1068.2016b, MNRAS, 458, 3851
Offering a Bayesian approach to disentangle the several polarization mechanisms at mid-infrared wavelengths.2016a, MNRAS, 455, 2656
The dust located at the inner wall of the torus of NGC 1068 is confined by a strong, ~80 mG, magnetic field.2015, MNRAS, 452, 1902
Synchrotron emission dominates from a pc-scale jet close to the core.
NOTE: Check Lopez-Rodriguez et al. 2018b for the most recent results on this topic.2014, ApJ, 793, 81
The dusty torus is spatially confined at scales of 1 pc around the active nuclei due to a strong, ~100 mG, magnetic field.2013, MNRAS, 431, 2723
Personal and professional interview at the Stanford ReportStanford Report
Press release about 'SALSA II: A magnetically driven flow in the starburst ring of NGC 1097 paper by Lopez-Rodriguez (2021, ApJ, 923, 150)NASA Press Release
Press release about 'The strength and structure of the magnetic field in the galactic outflow of M82' paper by Lopez-Rodriguez et al. (2021, ApJ, 914, 24)NASA Press Release
Press release about 'SOFIA far-infrared imaging polarimetry of M82 and NGC 253: Exploring the supergalactic wind' paper by Jones, Dowell, Lopez-Rodriguez, et al. 2019 ApJ, 870, 9.APOD (2019 March 11)
Press release about 'The highly polarized dusty emission core of cygnus A' paper by Lopez-Rodriguez 2018b ApJ, 861, 23.NASA Press Release
Article about 'The magnetic field in the central parsec of the Galaxy' paper by Roche et al. 2018, MNRAS, 476, 235.Astronomy Magazine
Press release about 'Investigating the dusty torus of Seyfert galaxies using SOFIA/FORCAST photometry' paper by Fuller et al. 2016 MNRAS, 462, 2618.NASA Press Release
Press release about the first-light polarimetric observations of galaxies with HAWC+.AAS 2018 Press Release
Entrevista profesional y personal en Vision Cosmica organizada por Andres Plazas Malagon.Podcast
Primer evento en Español sobre la ciencia que se hace en KIPAC/Stanford dirigido a estuduantes de instituto y sus familias.KIPAC/Stanford
Artilo sobre mi carrera cientifica como astronomo Canario.La Opinion
Entrevista sobre la emigracion de cientificos Españoles.Article