Taro Shimizu

Postdoctoral Researcher
Max-Planck Institute for
Extraterrestial Physics

See my work


The star-forming properties of an ultra-hard X-ray selected sample of AGN

For my thesis, I am studying the link between the properties of AGN and star formation in their host galaxies. It has long been known that there exists a connection between the supermassive black hole (SMBH) in the centers of galaxies and different aspects of its host galaxy (eg. M-sigma relation). One possible explanation for this is through feedback from the SMBH while in its AGN phase. We are analyzing images of > 300 AGN from the Herschel Space Observatory together with archival data to form their infrared spectral energy distributions (IR SED) and aim to model each IR SED to determine the relative contribution from the AGN and star formation.


We have released the complete set of FITS images from our Herschel survey as well as data tables of PACS and SPIRE fluxes on Dataverse. To access please follow this link.

Relevant Publications

  1. Do Most Active Galactic Nuclei Live in High Star Formation Cusps? (ADS, Astro-ph)
  2. Herschel Far-infrared Photometry of the Swift Burst Alert Telescope Active Galactic Nuclei Sample of the Local Universe. I. PACS Observations (ADS, Astro-ph)
  3. Decreased Specific Star Formation Rates in AGN Host Galaxies (ADS, Astro-ph)
  4. Herschel Far-infrared Photometry of the Swift Burst Alert Telescope Active Galactic Nuclei Sample of the Local Universe. I. SPIRE Observations
  5. Supplemental Material
    • Table 1: Herschel-BAT Sample (PDF, ASCII)
    • Table 2: Herschel BAT SPIRE Fluxes (PDF, ASCII)
    • Figure 1: SPIRE Maps (PDF)

X-ray time variability of AGN

For my Master’s Thesis, I analyzed the Swift/BAT light curves in the 14-195 keV energy range. I created and modeled their Power Spectral Density (PSD) functions as an unbroken power law to characterize the time variability (i.e. how the flux changes as a function of time). See Shimizu & Mushotzky (2013) for more details.

About Me

I am originally from St. Louis, MO where I attended St. Louis University High School and graduated in 2006. Growing up in St. Louis, I of course became a huge fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and baseball in general. I also think the only way to eat ravioli is toasted and one of the best desserts in the world is Gooey Butter Cake.

After graduating high school, I moved on to Washington University in St. Louis where I majored in Physics and received my Bachelor of Arts in the spring of 2010. While at WUSTL, I did an internship through NASA/USRP at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory developing software to produce gamma-ray images using light curves from the CGRO/BATSE instrument. It is during this internship that I decided I wanted to pursue a career in astronomy. In 2010 I began graduate school at the University of Maryland in the Department of Astronomy where I currently am working on my Ph.D.

Apart from research, I enjoy spending time with my wife of 4 years, Kim, and our little dog Sam. Together we love exploring the many Washington D.C. attractions. Some of my favorite places in D.C. include the National Mall, especially during Cherry Blossom season, Busboys and Poets, Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum, and Great Falls National Park.

Curriculum Vitae

Click here for my full CV.

Contact Me


Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestial Physics
IR/Submm Group
Postfach 1312
85741 Garching