Christopher S. Kochanek is an Ohio Eminent Scholar and professor of astronomy at the Ohio State University. His current research focuses on “massive stars behaving badly”: searching for exploding massive stars, stars destroyed by supermassive black holes and other luminous transients, and stars that die to form black holes without luminous explosions.
Kochanek and his collaborators run the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN), which searches the entire visible sky for bright transient events on a nightly basis. The statistical samples from this survey are now large enough to allow for interesting statistical studies relating supernovae to galaxy populations. ASAS-SN will also be tracking the regions of the sky being surveyed by the soon-to-be-launched National Aeronautics and Space Administration/Massachusetts Institute of Technology Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which will identify and characterize all transients where high cadence and precision TESS light curves of their variability will eventually be available.
Kochanek received his PhD in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1989. He was then a postdoc at the University of California, Berkeley, a junior faculty member at Harvard University, and a senior scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He has been a professor at Ohio State since 2003.