William P. Blair
Bill Blair is an Astrophysicist and Research Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at The Johns 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 Hopkins 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 260 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 (26) from Seoul, South Korea, and Jeremy (24) from Calcutta, India.
P. Frank Winkler
P. "Frank" Winkler is the Gamaliel Painter Professor of Physics, Emeritus and Research Professor of Astrophysics at Middlebury College in Vermont where he has led thousands of students to a greater appreciation of astronomy and the night sky.
Originally trained in atomic physics at Caltech and Harvard, he has worked in astrophysics for the last 40 years, focusing on observations of supernova remnants from both ground- and space-based telescopes. He has served on numerous NASA and NSF review panels, and was recently inaugurated as President of the Vermont Academy of Science and Engineering.
Space Telescope Science Institute
Knox S. Long is an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. He has a long-standing interest in X-ray observations of nearby galaxies and led the international team that obtained the new Chandra observations of M83. He carries out research from space observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope, the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer, or the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. He currently works as an instrument scientist on the Wide Field Camera 3 instrument onboard Hubble.
Dr. Long received his A.B. in Physics from Harvard College in 1971 and a Ph.D. in Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1976.
Curtin University, Australia
Dr. Roberto Soria is a Senior Research Fellow and staff scientist at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. He is an expert on X-ray source populations including X-ray black hole binary stars.
He led the analysis of a new black hole found in M83 and that was reported in May of 2012.
His team was using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory to observe M83 when they discovered a new ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX) produced by the black hole.
Space Telescope Science Institute
Brad Whitmore is an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland. He specializes in collisions between galaxies and the star clusters that form during these collisions. He received his PhD in astronomy at the University of Michigan in 1980, was a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism until 1982, taught at Arizona State University in 1983, and has been at STScI ever since. His contributions range from helping to design the observing proposal system at STScI, being the group lead for the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 Group, the Division Head for the Instrument Division, Deputy Division Head of the Science Division, project lead for the Hubble Legacy Archive, and the STScI Hubble Project Scientist. He is currently the project lead for the Hubble Source Catalog project.
Brad's "outside" interests include kayaking, biking, and orienteering, where he has been the national champion in his age groups three times. He lives on a small hobby farm with his wife Julie, four llamas, a dozen sheep, thirty chickens, and their English springer Plum.
University of Toledo
Rupali Chandar is a Professor of Astronomy at the University of Toledo. She received her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 2000. She worked closely with many investigators at Space Telescope Science Institute
She specializes in understanding the birth and death of star clusters and how they contribute to the evolution of galaxies.
Rupali was awarded a CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation to carry out her research on the life cycle of star clusters.
Australian National University
Michael Andrew Dopita is Professor and ARC Federation Fellow at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University. The School is located at Mount Stromlo Observatory, the home of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Dopita is one of the top international authorities in the general area of interstellar astrophysics. He has made fundamental contributions to research on astrophysical plasma diagnostics, star formation in galaxies, the physics of planetary nebulae, supernova remnants, active galactic nuclei and radio jets. His prestige and judgement were recognised by his appointment to the Hubble Space Telescope Time Assignment Committee.
(University of Virginia)
Robert W. O'Connell is J. D. Hamilton Professor of Astronomy at the University of Virginia. He grew up in San Francisco and received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and the California Institute of Technology. He has been at UVa since 1971, where he served as departmental chair for a total of 11 years. Dr. O'Connell's main research interests center on the evolution of galaxies as revealed by their stellar populations, especially in unusual environments such as starbursts and cooling flows in clusters of galaxies. He has published over 200 scientific papers. He has long been active in space astronomy, especially observations in the ultraviolet, and served as chair of the international science working group for the Starlab project and as a co-investigator on the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope, which flew on two Space Shuttle missions in the 1990's. Dr. O'Connell has been chair of the Scientific Oversight Committee for the Wide Field Camera 3 on the Hubble Space Telescope since 1998.
The members of the WFC3 Science Oversight Committee and Early Release Science, which includes observations of M83 include: R. O'Connell (University of Virginia), B. Balick (University of Washington), H. Bond (STScI), D. Calzetti (University of Massachusetts), M. Carollo (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich), M. Disney (University of Wales, College of Cardiff), M. Dopita (Australian National University), J. Frogel (Ohio State University Research Foundation) , D. Hall (University of Hawaii), J. Holtzman (New Mexico State University), P. McCarthy (Carnegie Institution of Washington), F. Paresce (European Southern Observatory, Germany), A.Saha (NOAO/AURA) , J. Silk (University of Oxford), A. Walker (NOAO/CTIO) , B. Whitmore (STScI), R. Windhorst (Arizona State University), and E. Young (University of Arizona).