Wei 'Vivyan'Yan Physics & Astronomy@dartmouth college

Here is a new dimension.
I am a 4th-year PhD student at Dartmouth College, majored in Astronomy. For my research, I am most interested in Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). They give us clues about the evolution of blackholes and their host galaxies. My current project is studying obscured AGNs with Chandra. Before coming to Dartmouth, I got my B.S. degree from School of the Gifted Young at University of Science and Technology of China. I love music, movies, writing and classical literature. I also spend most weekends on outdoor activities as well, such as hiking, biking and horse-back riding.
Welcome to my research world.
Chandra Deep Field South Obscured AGN

We characterize AGN X-ray obscuration with AGN properties and host galactic activity like star forming in multiple bands. By extracting and stacking spectra of sources in the CDFS 7Ms catalog, this large sample of AGNs give us a clue on the origin of the obscuration.

Heavily-Obscured Quasars

I observed four heavily obscured quasars via NuSTAR and Keck. They were selected from a large population of obscured quasars, based on mid-IR photometry from WISE and SDSS. We found heavy high obscuration in X-ray images, and also unexpected large absorption in the host galactic environment.

The Two-Dimensional Properties of M51

During my undergraduate, I studied the relationship of star formation rate, dust extinction, metallicity with internal galaxy dynamics. Some recent works suggest there is inconsistency with these measurements in different regions of M51. By analyzing spectra at different regions of the face-on galaxy. I studied how different physical mechanisms could explain such observational discrepancies.

Seeing Analysis of Chinese Antarctic Research Station

During my internship at the Polar Research Institute of China, I built measured equipment based on electric bridge to avoid exposing the whole equipment in cold weather. Estimated the location for Chinese future Antarctic Research Station Kunlun and its potential future value.

The journey and beyond.
  • Wei Yan et al., 2018 “NuSTAR Observations of Heavily-Obscured Quasars Selected by WISE”.
  • Hviding, R. E.; Hickox, R. C.; Hainline, K. N.; Carroll, C. M.; DiPompeo, M. A.; Yan, W.; Jones, M. L."Characterizing the WISE-selected heavily obscured quasar population with optical spectroscopy from the Southern African Large Telescope", 2018MNRAS, 474, 1955H.
  • Lian, J. H., Kong, X., Jiang, N., Yan, W., Gao, Y. L. “Surface brightness profles of blue compact dwarf galaxies in the GOODS-N and GOODS-S field”, 2015MNRAS, 451, 1130L.
  • Lian, J.H., Li, J.R., Yan, W. and Kong, X. “The mass metallicity relation of local Lyman-break analogs and its dependence on galaxy properties”, 2014 MNRAS, 446, 1449.
  • Chen, C.H., Yan, W. “Star Mechanism and Application of Pulsar under the Background of Scientific Research”, ISSN1008-2395,CN21-1390/G4, “Physics Teacher”.
  • Yan, W. “The inheritance and Development of Chinese and Western Historical astronomy”, ISSN1002-042X,CN32-1216/O4, “Journal of Dalian University”.
  • A74 Fall18
  • A1 Summer19, Spring19, 18, 17
  • A15 Winter19
  • A25 Winter19, 18
  • A2/3 Fall17, 16
  • P14 Summer16, Winter15
  • P13 Spring16


  • NuSTAR X-ray
  • Chandra X-ray
  • Keck telescope
  • South Africa Large Telescope (SALT)
  • MDM Observatory
  • Xinglong Observing Station of National Astronomical Observatories
  • Purple Mountain Observatory(PMO)


  • SMBH environment & evolution in 2019
  • TORUS 2018: The many faces of the AGN obscuration
  • "Are AGNs special?" in 2018
  • The 28th New England Regional Quasar/AGN Meeting in 2018
  • "16th HEAD Divisional Meeting" in 2017
  • "Elusive AGN in the Next Era" AGN Meeting in 2017
  • "Hidden Monsters" Obscured AGN and Connections to Galaxy Evolution Meeting in 2016
  • The 26th New England Regional Quasar/AGN Meeting in 2016
  • Symposium on Cosmology and Galaxy Center by Chinese Astronomical Society in 2014


  • American Astronomy Society Travel Grant in 2019, 2018
  • Dartmouth Travel Grant Winner in Spring 2019
  • Dartmouth 3-Minute Research Competition 1st & People's Choice in 2017
  • Dartmouth Fellowship
  • AAS Junior Membership since 2016
  • AAAS Membership since 2018
  • Awards for Fundamental Astronomical Research
  • Scholarship of National Astronomical Observatories in 2014
  • Scholarship for Undergraduate Excellence at USTC in 2014 (top 10%)
  • Part-work and Part-study Program Scholarship at USTC
  • Third Prize in the First Writing Contest held by the Jingzhe Literature Society of USTC
  • Scholarship of Freshman Excellence at USTC in 2011


  • Meet the Astronomers at Howe Library 2019
  • Township school outreach in Cape Town, South Africa 2019
  • Black hole group leader & translator of NASAWATCH
  • Movie & TV series subtitle translator of ZiMuZu
  • TA facilitator at DCAL (Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning)
  • Astronomy Day at Montshire Science Museum 2016-2018
  • 2017 Science Olympiad supervisor & test writer in Astronomy
  • Vice-president of CSSA (Chinese Students and Scholars Association) at Dartmouth 2017-2018
  • Graduate student liaison of STEPS (Science, Technology and Engineering Policy Society) at Dartmouth 2017-2018
  • 2017 Iron Chef Competition presenter & dessert maker & 1st winning team
  • Volunteer at Upper Valley Haven 2016-2018
  • Volunteer at LISTEN thrift store in 2017-2018
  • Dartmouth Science Day-Physics and Astronomy activity station in 2016
  • Board member of OneDartmouth
  • Vice-chairman of the Association of Psychological Counselor at USTC
  • Student assistant at Psychological Counselor of USTC

Contact me: wei.yan.gr@dartmouth.edu

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and the more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above and the moral law within. ——Immanuel Kant
Created By
Wei Yan


Created with images by PhotoVision - "ufo space stars" • Kristopher Roller - "Shooting Star Rye" • NASA Hubble - "Dying Young: Massive Dead Disk Galaxy Challenges the Picture of How Galaxies Evolve" • UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences - "ANITA awaiting launch" • Cam4Heroes - "hut lake star" • SarahRichterArt - "nut walnut universe" • jameswheeler - "alone astronomy blue" • PhotoVision - "ufo spaceship flying saucer" • spirit111 - "moon full moon moonlight" • Aperture Vintage - "white stars"

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