Horsehead Nebula

January 11, 2018: Click here for Black Hole Double Burp press release

About Me

Julia (Julie) Comerford
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where I work on observations of kpc-scale separation dual supermassive black holes in merger-remnant galaxies. These objects are observable when one or both of the supermassive black holes accrete gas as active galactic nuclei (AGN), in systems known as offset AGN and dual AGN, respectively. Offset AGN and dual AGN are valuable as tracers of galaxy evolution, including the role of mergers in building up black hole mass.

Here is my CV. Learn More
In the News
"Song of the Universe" (TEDx talk)
"Supermassive Black Holes Explained" (PhD Comics)
"Cataclysm Hunters: The Search for Monster Black-Hole Collisions" (
"This Galaxy Has Two Black Holes - And One of Them Is Very Strange" (Washington Post)
"Stripped Black Hole Could Be a Rarely Seen Phenomenon, Study Says" (LA Times)
"Rarely Seen Pair of Black Holes Discovered, One Unlike The Other" (NPR's Here & Now)
"Galaxy Found That Plays Host to Rare Combo of Two Black Holes" (Mashable)
"Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman" (The Science Channel)
"A Black Hole Dance Party" (U.S. News and World Report)
"Black-Hole Bonanza" (Sky and Telescope)
"Elusive Supermassive-Black-Hole Mergers Finally Found" (Wired)
"Waltzing Quasars Provide Signpost to Merging Galaxies"(Science magazine)

Read More about My Research

My Group

From left to right:

Aaron Stemo: Graduate student working on WISE, Spitzer, and Chandra observations of offset AGN and dual AGN in HST galaxies.

Scott Barrows: Postdoc working on Chandra and HST observations of offset AGN in galaxy mergers.

Francisco Müller-Sánchez: Postdoc working on VLA observations and spatially-resolved spectroscopy of dual AGN and AGN outflows.

Rebecca Nevin: Graduate student working on optical longslit observations of dual AGN and AGN outflows.

Image credit: PhD Comics, Supermassive Black Holes Explained