William P. Blair
Bill Blair is an Astrophysicist and Research Professor
of Physics and Astronomy at
Hopkins University . He has been at Johns Hopkins
since 1984, and was involved previously in the support
of the Astro-1 (December 1990) and Astro-2 (March
1995) space shuttle missions that carried the
Ultraviolet Telescope into space. Bill's current
position is with the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) project
at Johns Hopkins, where he is Chief of Observatory
Operations. (FUSE is a satellite developed by JHU
for NASA, and launched June 24, 1999, for a three-year
mission. It has recently been granted an extension
of mission operations.) In 2002, Bill was appointed
as a FUSE Co-Investigator by NASA, and was made
Deputy Principal Investigator at JHU. Bill's main
scientific interests lie in the areas of gaseous
nebulae, supernova remnants and the interstellar
medium (the "stuff" out there between the stars).
Bill grew up west of Detroit, Michigan, "back
when the skies were still dark at night," he says.
As a kid, Bill used to set up his 4-inch Newtonian
telescope to scan the
southern Milky Way on warm, summer nights. Growing
up in the 1960's during the heyday of the Apollo
missions had an indelible effect on Bill, who was
an active model rocketeer. "Not quite October
Sky," he says, "but I have some old home movies
that are pretty good!"
Bill always liked physics and math, but never
really thought of astronomy as something you did
for a career. After graduating from Olivet College,
a small liberal arts college in Michigan, Bill applied
to the University of Michigan for graduate school
in astronomy, and the rest, as they say, is history.
To date, Bill has authored or co-authored over 175
papers, primarily on supernova remnants, using a
wide range of ground-based and space-based telescopes.
Believe it or not, Bill also has a life outside
astronomy! He enjoys gardening, photography, coin
collecting, and spending time with his family. He
is a long-time member of Babcock Presbyterian Church in Towson, MD. Bill is married,
and he and his wife, Jean, have two children, Amy
(21) from Seoul, South Korea, and Jeremy (18) from
The members of the science team who obtained the 2006 Hubble data are J. Raymond (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), W. Blair (Johns Hopkins University), R. Sankrit (University of California, Berkeley), K. Korreck (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), and P. Ghavamian (STScI).
Members of the Hubble Heritage Team that obtained the 2008 Hubble data are K. Noll, H. Bond, C. Christian, L. Frattare, F. Hamilton, Z. Levay, M. Mutchler, and W. Januszewski (Hubble Heritage Team/STScI).
Special thanks to W. Blair (Johns Hopkins University), K. Dyer and J. Uson (NRAO), F. Winkler (Middlebury College), and J. Hughes (Rutgers) for their assistance with supplying X-ray, radio, adn ground-based optical observations of SN 1006.