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The Imagine the Universe! Team

The Imagine Team

Who Writes this Stuff ??

The materials found in the Imagine the Universe! web site are written by a dedicated group of astronomers and programmers who work at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Some members of this jolly group spend their days recovering data from old X-ray and gamma-ray satellites and making it available to the public for use again. Others spend their time helping various astronomers plan and interpret observations obtained with current satellite missions such as ROSAT, ASCA, the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), and the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO). All of these activities entail astronomers and programmers working together to develop sophisticated computer software and databases. In recent years, much of our effort has turned to providing our services on the web. We are happy to expand these services to a broader community of students, teachers, and the general public who wish to know more about the wondrous Universe.

The OXPOG staff

[Left to Right: (seated) Pam Levell, Brian Hewitt, Mike Arida, Steve Fantasia, George Gliba
(standing) John Cannizzo, Jeff Silvis, David Palmer, Dave Thompson, Eric Christian, Tali Figueroa, Maggie Masetti, Chris Wanjek, Karen Smale, Koji Mukai, Jim Lochner]

Contributors (not all are pictured above):

Jim Lochner -- Imagine the Universe's numero uno. He keeps it running and keeps everyone happy. He studies X-ray binaries in his spare time (when not listening to "Car Talk").

Nick White -- Now head of the Lab for High Energy Astrophyiscs, as well Group Leader for the Office of Guest Investigator Programs. He's in control, but not necessarily in charge.

Meredith Bene Ihnat -- Our second (and fourth) web master extraordinaire. She's one of the happiest people we know, likely due to all that Joan Baez and Peter, Paul & Mary that she listens to. For a short time she wore 3-D glasses for Goddard's Visualization lab, but is back to cheer us up again.

Koji Mukai -- Responsible for running our "Ask an Astrophysicist" service. Also an expert in cataclysmic variables, ASCA, ASTRO-E, bike trails in Maryland, and the Baltimore Orioles batting averages.

Karen Smale -- Web page designer and graphic artist, among other talents. She can draw you a map to anywhere and sing you a tune to send you on your way.

Gail "Qui-Gon Jinn" Rohrbach - Gail has been training HEASARC GOF knights for many years. She now sits on the RXTE Guest Observer council, while doing outreach work on the side.

Mike Arida -- A jack-of-all-trades who helps the visiting scientists at the HEASARC analyze data from their favorite satellite. Mike is looking for a ticket to Antarctica (we've heard he may be willing to give up a limb.)

George Gliba -- Helps sort through all those Ask an Astrophysicist questions for the archive. The person we go to for observational astronomy questions. He also sends out all those CDs, posters and booklets.

Christopher Wanjek -- Chris is both a stand-up comic and science writer, covering such diverse topics as outer space and maternal-child health issues. So far, his book proposal for "Giving Birth in Zero Gravity" has been a tough sell.

Pat Tyler -- A web geek if we ever saw one. Expert at digitizing images and putting them on the web. If it's out there, she knows how to get it.

Padi Boyd -- Expert in chaos (no wise cracks !) in astronomy. Leader of well-known (at least in these parts) a capella group.

Steve Fantasia -- Webmaster for the HEASARC. He keeps the webserver and other web-related software up-to-date. He is also known to plan many social events and has an "infamous" movie grading scale.

Pam Levell -- Keeps the engine running smoothly by tracking down paperwork and making sure our bills get paid. Paul Butterworth -- High-energy fellow who works on low-energy gamma-rays. He has done lots of educational work.

Kevin Boyce -- Physicist, engineer, programmer, web author, and all-around geek. When not in Japan working on ASTRO-E, he is usually listening to music (ranging from Anastasio to Zappa).

John Cannizzo - An expert in accretion disks and interacting binary stars. In his spare time, John is a tennis enthusiast.

Ilana Harrus -- Purveyor of all things French, Ilana is fit enough to ride her bicycle around a neutron star, although she would complain about all the uphills.

Some of our former team members:

Laura Whitlock -- Imagine the Universe's first numero uno. It was her idea. She's now using her talents in education and public outreach at Sonoma State University in beautiful Napa Valley.

Jesse Allen - Our first web guru who got things up and running. He is now playing with pretty pictures at Goddard's Visualization lab.

Brian Hewitt -- A former web programmer for us. Once in the radio business (that's broadcast, not the astronomy), he designed our new look in the Spring of 2000.

Allie Hajian -- Our aspiring benevolent dictator, who once honed her craft with us by bringing the scientists and their science down to Earth. She's now honing her craft as a mother!

Maggie "Jedi knight" Masetti - Maggie was the creative force behind the RXTE and Astro-E Learning Centers, among other things. She has answers at hand for many an ask astro question, not to mention a Simpsons or Star Wars quote for every occasion. She now flies in helicoptors for Earth Science outreach.

Tom Bridgman -- formerly a OSSE Instrument Specialist for the CGRO Science Support Center. He likes to do research on compact objects, radiation transport, and accretion. He is now at Goddard's Scientific Visualization Studio doing work in the Earth Sciences.

Daryl Macomb -- Worked for the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory Science Support Center, Daryl likes to think of himself as just a humble guy helping good folks use gamma-ray data.

Jeff Silvis -- A physicist turned UV astronomer turned gamma-ray astronomer, Jeff has an avid interest in philosophies and mythologies of many cultures. He'll cook you an Indian meal while relating a quote from Lao Tsu and telling tales of the Nordic gods.

Sandy Antunes -- X-ray satellite scheduler by day, game writer by night, Sandy is working to create time from nothing.


A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC

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