Emeriti Faculty

Photo of Carl Heiles

Carl Heiles

Professor of Astronomy; RAL Director


  • 501S Campbell Hall


Specialty Areas

Interstellar matter, radio astronomy, numerical analysis

Research Interests

Generally, I am interested in observationally specifying the physical state of diffuse interstellar gas. Currently, and more specifically, my graduate students and I are working on two major projects. One involves mapping the Galactic interstellar hydrogen in the 21-cm line using the new seven-element feed array at the Arecibo telescope, a project we fondly call GALFA; see the project's website http://www.naic.edu/alfa/galfa/ . The other involves using the Green Bank telescope (GBT) to map Galactic hydrogen and, also, to measure the interstellar magnetic field using Zeeman splitting of the 21-cm line and some other spectral lines. I am also involved, less directly, with the Spectroscopy of Plasma Evolution from Astrophysical Radiation (SPEAR) satellite, which maps ultraviolet emission lines from very gas in interstellar space.


Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. Undergraduate at Cornell in Engineering Physics; PhD at Princeton in Astrophysical Sciences. At Berkeley from summer 1966 onwards, with some time out at Arecibo Observatory, Boulder, and Green Bank.