As both a scientist and a science communicator, I am always looking for opportunities to share the world of astronomy with audiences that might not spend their days thinking about how the universe works. When a friend of mine who is a dancer and choreographer mentioned to me that she was interested in doing a dance piece that centered around astronomy, I was thrilled to work with her. Angella Foster is the artistic director of alight dance theater, a non-profit professional dance company in Greenbelt, MD, just a few miles from Goddard, and we have been chatting about astronomy for the past couple of years. Her newest work, Stargazing, premieres this weekend in DC (read an essay written by Angella about this work). I have seen some excerpts of the work, but am really excited to see the whole piece in its entirety.
I’ve lived in Maryland almost two years, just a short train ride away from New York City, and only recently ventured up to the Big Apple. It was for the World Science Festival, where I was volunteering at the full-scale model of the James Webb Space Telescope. The full-scale model has been on a world tour, including not only NYC but also Ireland, Germany, Orlando, Seattle, and closer to home in DC and right here at Goddard:
Hello Blueshift readers! I’m a new blogger here, and want to briefly introduce myself. I’m a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow here at Goddard, which means that I spend most of my time studying the universe. Ok, maybe that’s too broad…more specifically, I’m an astronomer in the field of observational cosmology; more specifically, studying galaxy evolution and assembly; even more specifically, studying structural and star formation properties of galaxies outside our own Milky Way. I got my Ph.D. in Physics from Arizona State University in 2008, and my B.S. from University of Arkansas in 2002. I work under the James Webb Space Telescope project, where I also help with Education and Public Outreach stuff. Lots of fun!
One of the things I love about being an astronomer is the amount of traveling I get to do. In the last ~three months, I’ve been to Germany, Hawaii, Santa Cruz, and New York City (not to mention down the street to Washington DC and up the street to Baltimore) all on “official” astronomy business. Which might make you wonder how I’m able to get any work at all done, but (perhaps miraculously) I’ve managed to submit a paper in the middle of all of that in addition to the talks and other work related to the actual trips themselves. Of all those places listed above, I honestly can’t say which one I like the most, because they are all so different. But Hawaii was perhaps the most hands-on from an observational astronomy standpoint (‘lani’ is the Hawaiian word for ‘sky’), so I’ll start out there.