Learning about astronomy is like stepping into a different world - almost literally. Already as a child I was blown away by this “new reality”, by images of planetary nebulae taken by the Hubble Space Telescope or trying to read and understand Stephen Hawking’s "A brief history of time". While at school I started going to “astronomical youth camps” - they are fantastic! So go if you are still young enough.
Now I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California - a great place for a young research scientist due to the very vibrant astrophysics community. My research focuses on galaxy evolution and I am so lucky to be using one of the best telescopes on our planet at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. If you ever wondered how the skies look like at an observatory, here is a video I took during my last observation run: https://vimeo.com/199631324.
I'm on the science staff at IPAC - Caltech and also work on outreach for the NASA universe of learning. However, I am not only passionate about my research, but also about communicating science and outreach. Together with my project partners, we have been focusing on bringing astronomy to very remote communities all around the globe, but also try to reach local communities and schools at our doorstep. Thanks to the help of Meade Instruments we could already provide several schools with telescopes and offer many more children (and adults!) the magnificent view into our Universe through one of their telescopes.
To me, astronomy is one of the most exciting sciences, which can blow your mind every single day. Also, it really illustrates how significant and insignificant - at the same time - we are as humans on our shared spaceship, the Earth. At this point, I invite you to listen to Carl Sagan: The Pale Blue Dot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wupToqz1e2g