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The science team who took the Hubble data of NGC 346 includes A. Nota (STScI/ESA), M. Sirianni (STScI/ESA), E. Sabbi (STScI), M. Tosi (INAF - Bologna Observ.), J.S. Gallagher (Univ. of Wisconsin), M. Meixner (STScI), M. Clampin (GSFC), S. Oey (Univ. of Michigan), A. Pasquali (ETH Zurich), L. Smith (Univ. College London), and R. Walterbos (New Mexico State Univ.). Several bios are provided below.

Antonella Nota
Antonella Nota

Antonella Nota

Space Telescope Science Institute

Antonella Nota, is the Head of the Science Division at STscI. She was born and raised in Venice, Italy. Her love of astronomy started very early. As a teenager, she was one of the first women to join the AAVSO in Europe, and monitored variable stars for years from the Lido in Venice. She completed her university studies at the Institute of Astronomy of the University of Padua, home of Galileo. She worked at the Italian Aerospace Company LABEN where she participated in the initial design of the Beppo Sax mission, and then she moved to Darmstadt, Germany, where she spent almost two years providing scientific support for the Exosat X-ray astronomy mission.

She joined STScI in 1986, as a FOC/IDT post-doc and eventually became a member of the ESA staff in 1990. She spent ten years supporting HST instrument science operations taking on increasingly challenging management positions starting as Lead of the Faint Object Camera Group, then Lead of the Observatory Support Group and finally the Lead of the NICMOS Group. She is now the Head of the Science Division.

Her scientific interests are mainly in the field of post main sequence evolution of very massive stars, especially Luminous Blue Variables and Ofpe/WN9 stars. She has studied the nebulae ejected by these stars and used the nebular properties to constrain the ejection mechanism and refine the understanding of the last evolutionary phases of these very luminous and massive objects. More recently, she has developed an interest in the stellar function of young star clusters, especially at very low masses.

Outside astronomy, Antonella has many interests, including modern art and classical music. She loves extreme sports, and still spends her vacations scubadiving in remote areas of the world, or skiing. She is married to Mark Clampin, an astronomer colleague whom she met at STScI, and has a little daughter, five years old, Simona.


Mark Clampin
Mark Clampin

Mark Clampin

Goddard Space Flight Center

Mark Clampin is currently the James Webb Space Telescope Observatory Project Scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center. An early love of astronomy led him to graduate study at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where he managed to spend four years without playing single round of golf. Mark spent two years at STScI as an ESA Fellow, followed by three years at Johns Hopkins University. In 1992, Mark joined the Institute as an Instrument Scientist supporting the development of new instruments for Hubble. Initially, he supported the first servicing mission as a Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) Instrument Scientist, moving on to become a STIS Instrument Scientist. In 1994 he was a member of the science team awarded the contract to build ACS. He played a major role as the ACS Detector Scientist, responsible for the three ACS detector systems. Mark became ACS Group Lead in the Hubble Division in 1998, and served for over four years, until ACS had successfully embarked on its first year of science operations.

Mark¹s scientific interests are the formation and evolution of planetary systems, stellar populations the late stages of stellar evolution. He also develops astronomical instrumentation, in particular space optics, detectors and stellar coronagraphs. In the last few years, Mark has become interested in the problem of direct planet detection and recently formed a science team to develop a Discovery proposal. The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Corongraph (EPIC) is a 1.5 meter aperture coronagraph is designed to survey nearby stars for the presence of Jovian planets.

Outside of work, Mark¹s main interest has always been scuba diving. He started diving in the U.K. in 1974 and has dived all over the world. The culmination of his diving career came in 1998, when he spent two weeks diving the Bismark Sea and Dampier Straits in Papua New Guinea. Mark is also a keen skier and has recently started to learn to fly. He is married to ESA Astronomer Antonella Nota at the Institute, with whom he is trying to master the ultimate extreme sport, parenting. They have an 5-year-old daughter, Simona.


Sally Oey
Sally Oey

Sally Oey

University of Michigan

My parents are Chinese Indonesians who moved to the US in 1957. Since this was before the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act, a special bill in Congress was passed to permit my dad to immigrate. He was hired as a librarian by Cornell University, and I was born and raised in Ithaca, NY. We lived a few miles east of town, and although our house was in a valley, the skies were dark. And like other astronomers who were toddlers at that time, I was fascinated and inspired by the lunar landings and space program. As a teen, I watched Carl Sagan on TV... and I also had the chance to see him in person a couple times, since he lived in my town!

Feels like I've come a long way since then. My undergraduate degree is from Bryn Mawr College outside Philadelphia, and I worked at the Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA for a couple years with the X-ray group there. While I was helping to archive data from Einstein, an early X-ray satellite, others around me were developing the NASA Great Observatory that was to become the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Little did I dream then, that I would someday be a Guest Observer on Chandra myself! I went on to do my graduate work at the University of Arizona from 1988 to 1995 with Rob Kennicutt, a pundit on galaxies. After postdoctoral fellowships at Cambridge University in the UK and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, I was a staff astronomer in Arizona, at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff. I am know an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan.

My scientific interests focus on the effects of the hottest, most massive stars on their interstellar environment. On small scales, these stars ionize the surrounding gas and create spectacular and photogenic emission nebulae. They also end their lives in powerful supernova explosions that create shells and hot (million-degree) gas in the interstellar medium. And these stars, along with their supernovae, are nuclear generators that create virtually all the elements in the Universe apart from hydrogen and helium. Because these stars have such a profound effect on the gas in galaxies, they are responsible for many of the processes that cause galaxies, and the Universe itself, to evolve.


Monica Tosi
Monica Tosi

Monica Tosi

(Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna)

I was born in Florence, Italy and raised in Rome. When I was attending high-school I already knew I wanted to be an astronomer, but I didn't know exactly why...

I got my “laurea” degree in Astronomy in Rome and then went to Yale, with an Italian fellowship. I chose Yale because a good friend advised me that there I could work with "the best person to learn how to do work in astronomy"- Beatrice Tinsley. My boyfriend was already on the east coast, at CFA in Cambridge, so I thought I'd better go as soon as possible. I did; it was 1980; and thanks to this rapid decision I had the chance of spending one year with Beatrice, who prematurely died in March 1981. Beatrice gave me both the cultural bases and the technical tools to work on the chemical evolution of galaxies, which is still one of my major research fields. Even more importantly, perhaps, she introduced me to the "woman's approach to astronomy."

Back to Italy, I got a position at the Bologna Observatory, where I'm still working now as a full professor. From what I've seen in these twenty years, I do think that the woman's way in astronomy is great.

I'm still working on galaxy evolution, both from the theoretical and the observational points of view, interpreting observational data on star clusters and galaxies, deriving star formation histories, and computing chemical evolution models for galaxies of different morphological types.


Jay Gallagher

Jay Gallagher


University of Wisconsin-Madison

Professor Jay Gallagher mainly grew up in the suburbs of New York City during the peak of the space race, when thoughts about space and astronomy were hard to avoid. Having been interested in the stars by his grandmother and by really seeing the sky during a winter he spent in Manchester, Vermont, he was primed to become seriously involved in astronomy. He finally succumbed as an undergraduate at Princeton University. While a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is now a member of the Astronomy faculty, Prof. Gallagher did a Ph.D. thesis based on observations of an exploding star obtained with the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory A-2, the first robotic ultraviolet space astronomy observatory. He later became interested in galaxies. In addition to his astronomy, he is trying with less success to add to his family's gardening skills, a task made more challenging by Wisconsin's famous "four season" climate.

Most of Prof. Gallagher's astronomical work is based on observations made with telescopes on Earth and in space. His research developed while he held positions at several different places, most notably the Universities of Minnesota and Illinois and at the Lowell Observatory, before coming back to Madison. Currently he is working on a variety of research projects, including studies of the history of star formation in nearby galaxies using the Hubble Space Telescope and the WIYN 3.5-meter telescope on Kitt Peak. He is a member of the science team responsible for the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 in the Hubble Space Telescope, that we used to make these Heritage Observations, and is involved in the International Gemini 8-m Telescopes project that is building advanced technology telescopes on Hawaii and in Chile.

Scientists strive to discover simple rules which underlie complex natural phenomena. For example, when making a model of some complex object a scientist may make some pretty extreme assumptions. For example, when asked to find the force of gravity produced by a complicated object like a galaxy, astronomers will usually start by assuming that it acts like a sphere, which in this and many other cases allows one to make approximate first solutions to complicated problems.


Margaret Meixner

Margaret Meixner

I was born in New York and raised mostly in Rockville, MD. I have always loved math and science and began an interest in astronomy during a junior high earth sciences class. The teacher of that class was very engaging and I recall wanting to be a geologists, then a meterologist and finally an astronomer. As an undergraduate electrical engineering and mathematics student at University of Maryland, College Park, I participated in several undergraduate research programs at the Goddard Space Flight Center and University of Maryland in astronomical research, enjoying the guidance of several good mentors. I continued in a PhD program in Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley and began as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign after graduation. I am now an associate astronomer at STScI working on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) project.

My interest in astronomy has always involved studies of gas and dust in the interstellar medium and in circumstellar environments. Stars are formed out of the gas and dust of the interstellar medium and as these stars age and die they return an enriched material back to the interstellar medium. My studies of the gas and dust at these different stages probe the physical processes that form stars and planets, that cause star death and that energize and enrich the interstellar medium.


Linda Smith

Linda Smith

Unlike most of her colleagues, Linda Smith did not develop a love of astronomy from an early age. She was brought up in deepest Wiltshire, England where the skies were very dark. It was not until she had to chose a subject to study at university, that she was hit by a metaphorical lightning bolt one night and saw the word ``astronomy'' in bright flashing lights. According to her parents, she sat down at breakfast and announced that she was going to become ''an astronomer''. This shocked her parents, sister, dog and teachers as no one had ever heard of anyone doing astronomy, let alone a woman. Undeterred, she made up for lost time, and with the help of her father, joined the British Astronomical Association, built a telescope, and rapidly learnt about the universe.

Linda did her first degree in astronomy and her PhD at University College London. For her PhD, under the supervision of Professor Sir Robert Wilson, she studied extremely massive stars using ultraviolet spectra from the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite. She then worked as a research fellow at the Royal Greenwich Observatory where she developed her interests in the interaction of winds from massive stars with the interstellar medium. Linda then moved back to UCL, and obtained an Advanced Fellowship which she held for eight years before becoming a member of faculty. During this time, she worked on various research topics, including abundance studies of distant galaxies, massive stars and winds. At present, she is working on young compact clusters formed in bursts of star formation, and the interaction of their supernova-driven winds with the surrounding interstellar medium in galaxies. Linda works mainly with observations obtained at ultraviolet and visible wavelengths, and has used many ground-based telescopes, the Hubble Space Telescope, and other satellites.


Rene Walterbos

Rene Walterbos

I was born in the Eastern part of the Netherlands, in a small 700-yr old town (Groenlo). My first experiences observing meteor showers and stars and galaxies date back to my teenage years. It didn't take me long to conclude that studying astronomy would be great adventure, one far removed from commerce and politics (so I naively thought). After obtaining the PhD in 1986 at Leiden University, where I also obtained my undergraduate degrees, I left the flat country for the large country, with postdocs in Princeton and Berkeley, before settling in New Mexico. Here, the skies are dark at night, and large in the day time, the views extend as far as half-way across the Netherlands. At New Mexico State University, I was one of the first group of Space Telescope Institute Hubble Fellows, before I joined the faculty. After too long a stint as Department Head, I am once again pleased to have more time for research.

My research interests include the interstellar medium, in my case observed mostly in nearby galaxies, massive stars and galaxy morphology and evolution. In the vast expanse which is almost a vacuum, the stars and planets are born, and galaxies change over time.

My other interests in life include music, in particular classical guitar, hiking, running, and camping with my family. We have a teenage daughter who is half Mexican, half Dutch and fully (Norte) American at the same time.