I was born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, of Hungarian
parents, came to the U.S.
at the age of four, and grew up near Baltimore,
Maryland. I became
interested in astronomy in high school, being particularly
fascinated by the
magnificent photographs made with the world's great
telescopes. Trying to
make photos with my own home-built telescope helped
fuel an interest in all
things technical and a growing passion for photography.
I pursued astronomical studies at Indiana University
that also included
heavy doses of math, physics, and computer science.
I left Bloomington with
a degree in Astrophysics in 1975 for graduate studies
at Case Western
Reserve University (Warner and Swasey Observatory)
in Cleveland, Ohio. In
1978 I joined Computer Sciences Corporation at NASA's
Goddard Space Flight
Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where I helped support
a variety of space
science missions, culminating with the International
I arrived at the newly-established Space Telescope
Science Institute in 1983, still employed by CSC,
to help design and write software for astronomers
to view and analyze data obtained by the Hubble
Space Telescope. The next several years were a roller-coaster
ride of anticipation, dissappointment, and triumph,
watching launch delays, the Challenger accident,
deployment of the telescope, realization of serious
problems, and finally the successful servicing of
HST in 1993. Each subsequent servicing mission has
greatly improved the
In 1993 I began to work in the Office of Public
Outreach at STScI, now
employed by the Association of Universities for
Research in Astronomy
(AURA). I started this phase of my career just when
the first remarkable
data emerged from the repaired telescope, and found
myself helping to
produce and distribute the first successful images.
Ever since, I have been
privileged to work with scientists and technical
professionals here at STScI
and throughout the world to assemble the observations
illustrations, video and other products that we
distribute to the public via
the web, media, and educators.
I am a member of the Hubble Heritage Team, which
strives to showcase the
finest images made by the Hubble Space Telescope.
I have been fortunate to
assemble and help publicize some of the most remarkable
including the Helix Nebula, Hubble Deep Fields,
Orion Nebula, Whirlpool
Galaxy, Andromeda Galaxy Halo, and many others.
When I'm not busy with HST photos, I enjoy my family
and trying to make
photographs with my own equipment while traveling,
hiking, camping, and
canoeing, as well as occasionally getting my hands
woodworking and keeping the house from falling apart.