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Varun Bajaj

Heritage Spotlight:
Varun Bajaj

Space Telescope Science Institute

This image was created from archival data of the Milky Way Center. STScI Research and Instruments Analyst Varun Bajaj was instrumental in mosaicking the multiple pointings together and working on the color composite of the WFC3 data.

Varun Bajaj is a Research and Instrument Analyst at the Space Telescope Science Institute where he works on the calibration of the Hubble Space Telescope's newest imager, Wide Field Camera 3. Captivated at young age by the beauty (shown by HST) and unfathomable expanse of the universe, he has always had an interest in physics and visual art. It was these same interests that ultimately led him to create Hubble mosaics, including the mosaic of the galactic center.

Originally hailing from western Massachusetts, Varun received his Bachelor's in Physics with minors in Astronomy and Electronic Art from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 2013. A year later he completed his Master's in Physics at RPI as well, with research focusing on determining the composition of protostellar environments. After finishing his Master's degree, his interest in outreach/education led him to spend the summer teaching middle/high school students astronomical concepts. Not long after that, he moved to Baltimore to work at STScI where his work focuses mainly on Hubble's photometric calibration, as well as the mapping of dust lanes in nearby galaxies.

When not working on Hubble, you can find Varun playing Ultimate Frisbee, jamming behind a drumset/microphone, making CGI art, or curiously staring at the night sky.