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Jane Charlton

Jane Charlton

For Jane Charlton astronomy offers a quest for insights into why we are here and what it is that we should do in our lives. The wonders of space always meant to her that there is something more - something beyond. So even when she was a child of five, growing up in a suburb of Pittburgh, PA, she knew she wanted to become an astronomer (and she stuck to it even when people where trying to convince her that being a research chemist would be a safer path). She got her BA at the Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh and her Masters degree and PhD at the University of Chicago. Since 1992 she has been working as a faculty member at the Pennsylvania State University. Although, most of the time it does not feel like work at all. "I just get up and explore the Universe every day. It used to seem difficult all the time, but now it is like reading a novel you can't put down." Apart from her work she likes baseball and classical piano.

Jane Charlton specializes in extragalactic astronomy and has focused recently on quasar absorption lines and galaxy evolution and on the role of interactions and mergers in galaxy formation. She longs to be able to replay the history of galaxies and see in her mind the dynamic and majestic events that happened when they formed - and to understand why.