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Howard Bond

Howard Bond

Howard Bond is an Astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute, and a co-founder of the Hubble Heritage project.

He acquired the astronomy bug at about the age of 10, when his father pointed out some of the constellations above his hometown of Bethesda, Maryland, and is still addicted more than 4 decades later. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in physics at the University of Illinois, Bond went on to complete a Ph.D. degree in astronomy at the University of Michigan, where his thesis work was a large-scale sky survey for extremely old stars with low contents of chemical elements heavier than hydrogen and helium.

Bond then spent some 15 years teaching astronomy and physics as a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Louisiana State University. In 1984 he jumped at the chance to join the Space Telescope Science Institute, where he has remained ever since. From 1991 to 1997 he served as Managing Editor of the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, one of the three major astronomy journals in North America.

He has had a passionate interest in planetary nebulae, dating back to his amateur astronomy days. In an extensive series of studies of the central stars in planetary nebulae carried out at LSU, Kitt Peak, and Cerro Tololo observatories, he and his colleagues were able to show that a significant fraction of planetary nebulae are actually ejected because of interactions of close pairs of stars. Nothing prepared him, however, for the stunning details within planetary nebulae that are now being revealed by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Aside from astronomy, Bond's interests include classical music, Wagnerian opera, and rafting trips in the Grand Canyon.