Michael A. Kuhn

Dr Michael A. Kuhn

Senior Lecturer

Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics

University of Hertfordshire

Office: 2E54 in the Innovation Centre

Room C268
School of Physics, Engineering & Computer Science
University of Hertfordshire,
College Lane,
Hatfield, AL10 9AB,
United Kingdom

e-mail: m.kuhn (at)


I am a member of the Centre for Astrophysics Research, where I study star formation using multiwavelength observations (X-ray, optical, infrared, and submillimetre) and employ methods from statistics and machine learning to obtain astrophysical results. I am interested in questions like: "What controls star-formation rates?", "Which star-formation events produce gravitationally bound star clusters?", and "How do stars assemble their masses?"

In astrostatistics, I am interested in statistical modeling, especially mixture models and spatial point processes.

Research Highlights

Press Releases

2023 – Webb Study Reveals Earth-like Planets Can Form in Extreme Environments NASA/MPIA press releases

2023 – ESO telescope reveals hidden views of vast stellar nurseries ESO press release

2022 – Outflows from young stars in JWST's Cosmic Cliffs image NASA/STScI press release

2021 – Astronomers Find a 'Break' in One of the Milky Way's Spiral Arms NASA/JPL press release

Sgr Arm Structure
A chain of star-forming regions was found jutting out from the Milky Way's Sagittarius Arm. The inset shows the size of the structure and distance from the Sun. Each orange star shape indicates star-forming regions that may contain anywhere from dozens to thousands of stars.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt

2020 – Mapping stellar nurseries in the Milky Way write-up at

2019 – Image of W40 by JPL featuring my work in the MYStIX project: 'Space Butterfly' Is Home to Hundreds of Baby Stars

W40 Spitzer mosaic
Giant gas bubbles form the characteristic butterfly-like shape of the W40 star-forming region seen in this Spitzer Space Telescope image. Hundreds of young stars were identified in this region by a combination of X-ray, optical, and infrared observations.
Figure credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

2018 – Joint press release by Caltech and ESA about Gaia 17bpi: Young Star Caught in a Fit of Growth and Gaia captures a rare FU Ori outburst

2018 – NASA press release about young "Sun-like stars" in NGC 6231: NGC 6231: Stellar Family Portrait in X-rays

2014 – NASA press release about the discovery of a spatial age gradient in young star clusters: NASA's Chandra Observatory Delivers New Insight Into Formation of Star Clusters

2007 – New York Times coverage of our discovery of a pre-main-sequence binary companion to the star beta Crucis in the Southern Cross: Astronomers May Have Found New Star in Southern Cross