I grew up in a tiny farming town in north-central Arkansas, under beautifully dark, rural skies. That dark sky captured my imagination as a kid, and ultimately led me to my job at NASA today.
As an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, I study how stars form in distant galaxies and how those processes change over time. Since many of the galaxies I study are very distant and faint, I mostly use data from the Hubble Space Telescope. Although, I have also gotten to observe at ground-based telescopes in beautiful places all over the world–one of the many perks of being an astronomer! Read more about my research here.
I love telling people about the amazing work I get to do. I do extensive public speaking, which has taken me to some exciting venues and allowed me to meet some remarkable people over the last several years.
A big part of my job at NASA involves working with the successor to Hubble, the James Webb Space Telescope, which is currently being built and assembled, and will allow us to peer further than ever into the depths of space, to see things like the very first galaxies that were born after the Big Bang.
Follow me on Twitter: @astraughnomer !
Contact: amber.n.straughn [at] nasa.gov