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Ginny McSwain portrait

M. Virginia McSwain

Associate Professor

Lewis Lab 405

Ph.D. in Astronomy, Georgia State University, 2004

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Research Areas

Additional Interests

  • Massive O- and B-type stars, binaries, and their evolution
  • Young open clusters and OB associations
  • Classical Be stars
  • Developing new tools for astronomy education


M. Virginia (Ginny) McSwain received her Ph.D. in Astronomy in 2004 from Georgia State University, under the supervision of Doug Gies. Her dissertation was titled, "The Evolution of Massive Stars: The Be Star and Microquasar Phenomena". She then held an NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University, continuing her studies of massive O- and B-type stars, classical Be stars, and runaway massive binaries. She joined the faculty at Lehigh University in 2007.

Selected publications:

  • Pfeffer, C.; McSwain, M. V.  2022, “Modeling the Photometric Variability of Alpha2 CVn with a Dynamical Magnetosphere”, ApJ, 935, 145
  • Arnold, R. A.; McSwain, M. V., et al. 2020, “Long-period High-amplitude Red Variables in the KELT Survey”, ApJS, 247, 44
  • Hanes, R. J. et al.  2019, “Stellar Parameters for Pulsating B-star Candidates in the Kepler Field”, AJ, 157, 129
  • Hanes, R. J.; McSwain, M. V., Povich, M. S. 2018, "Stellar Parameters and Radial Velocities of Hot Stars in the Carina Nebula", AJ, 155, 190 
  • Labadie-Bartz, J., et al. 2018, "Outbursts and Disk Variability in Be Stars", AJ, 155, 53 
  • Labadie-Bartz, J., et al. 2017, "Photometric Variability of the Be Star Population", AJ, 153, 252 
  • Alexander, M. J., Hanes, R. J., Povich, M. S., & McSwain, M. V. 2016, "A Catalog of New Spectroscopically Confirmed Massive OB Stars in Carina", AJ, 152, 190 
  • Alexander, M. J.,& McSwain, M. V. 2015, "An updated gamma-ray analysis of the Be-BH binary HD 215227", MNRAS, 449, 1686 
  • McSwain, M. V. 2014, "Astrophysics: Black hole found orbiting a fast rotator", Nature, 505, 296 
  • Marsh Boyer, A. N., McSwain, M. V., Aragona, C., & Ou-Yang, B. 2012, "Physical Properties of the B and Be Star Populations of h and chi Persei", AJ, 144, 158 
  • Napoli, V. J., McSwain, M. V., Marsh Boyer, A. N., & Roettenbacher, R. M. 2011, "The Distance of the Gamma-ray Binary 1FGL J1018.6-5856", PASP, 123, 1262 
  • McSwain, M. V., Ray, P. S., Ransom, S. M., Roberts, M. S. E., Dougherty, S. M., & Pooley, G. G. 2011, "A Radio Pulsar Search of the Gamma-ray Binaries LS I +61 303 and LS 5039", ApJ, 738, 105 
  • McSwain, M. V., Grundstrom, E. D., Gies, D. R., & Ray, P. S. 2010, "Halpha Emission Variability in the Gamma-ray Binary LS I +61 303", ApJ, 724, 379 
  • Aragona, C., McSwain, M. V., & De Becker, M. 2010, "HD 259440: The Proposed Optical Counterpart of the Gamma-ray Binary HESS J0632+057", ApJ, 724, 306 
  • McSwain, M. V., De Becker, M., Roberts, M. S. E., Boyajian, T.S., Gies, D. R., Grundstrom, E. D., Aragona, C., Marsh, A. N., Roettenbacher, R. M. 2010, "Multiwavelength Observations of the Runaway Binary HD 15137", AJ, 139, 857 
  • McSwain, M. V., Huang, W., & Gies, D. R. 2009, "Variability of Be Stars in Southern Open Clusters", ApJ, 700, 1216 
  • Aragona, C., McSwain, M. V., Grundstrom, E. D., Marsh, A. N., Roettenbacher, R. M., Hessler, K. M., Boyajian, T. S., & Ray, P. S. 2009, "The Orbits of the Gamma-ray Binaries LS I +61 303 and LS 5039", ApJ, 698, 514 
  • McSwain, M. V. 2008, "Detection of Magnetic Massive Stars in the Open Cluster NGC 3766", ApJ, 686, 1269 
  • McSwain, M. V., Huang, W., Gies, D. R., Grundstrom, E. D., & Townsend, R. H. D. 2008, "The B and Be Star Population of NGC 3766", ApJ, 672, 590
  • McSwain, M. V., Ransom, S. M., Boyajian, T. S., Grundstrom, E. D., & Roberts, M. S. E. 2007, "Runaway Massive Binaries and Cluster Ejection Scenarios", ApJ, 660, 740 
  • McSwain, M. V., & Gies, D. R. 2005, "The Evolutionary Status of Be Stars: Results from a Photometric Study of Southern Open Clusters", ApJS, 161, 118

A more complete list and links to each publication are available at the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS).


ASTR 007: Introduction to Astronomy
ASTR 008: Introduction to Astronomy Lab
ASTR 302: Introduction to Galactic and Extragalactic Astrophysics