Chris Burns’ research interests involve cosmology, the distance scale, and inter-stellar dust. For these areas of inquiry, type Ia supernovae are particularly well-suited as they are the brightest standard candles of which we know.

The Carnegie Supernova Project's primary goal is to obtain precision observations of supernova explosions, both in terms of their brightness over time, as well as detailed spectra that can provide constraints on their physical properties. The CSP has been observing for almost two decades and has assembled an extensive data set of supernovae of all types.

More generally, Burns enjoys applying the latest numerical techniques to solve scientific problems. These techniques include Bayesian inference, machine learning, and visualization. 

He is also quite active in public outreach, visiting schools, and volunteering as a telescope operator at Mount Wilson Observatory.



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