Marc Rafelski

Archive Scientist

Dr. Marc Rafelski is an archive scientist at STScI working on the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). At MAST, he is leading the spectroscopic initiative to improve the archival support of space spectroscopy. He also works on other aspects of the archive, such as the support of High Level Science Products (HLSP). Previously he worked on the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), where he was the lead for the front end and calibration of the 4th lifetime position, user support deputy, and editor of the COS Data Handbook.

Dr. Rafelski's research aims to further our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies by studying the physical characteristics and processes of high redshift galaxies and their associated gas reservoirs, inflows, and outflows. He has been working on this via chemical abundance and star formation studies of quasar absorption line systems, which provide a unique laboratory for understanding the conversion of cold gas into stars at high redshift. He also studies the galaxies directly in emission, learning about their star-formation and resolved structure from high-resolution ultraviolet imaging and their physical properties via low-resolution grism spectroscopy.

Dr. Rafelski has used a wide range of telescopes both from the ground and space covering the ultraviolet through infrared wavelengths, using over 15 instruments for imaging and spectroscopy on more than 6 telescopes. He is an active member of the research community and has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, which have appeared in the Astronomical Journal, the Astrophysical Journal, the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, and Astrophysics and Space Science Library journals. He regularly presents at conferences and meetings, including more than 50 around the world. Dr. Rafelski is also affiliated as an Associate Research Scientist at Johns Hopkins University.


PhD in Physics, University of California, San Diego
MS in Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles
BS in Physics and Astronomy, University of Arizona


Science Interests:

  • Galaxy evolution
  • Galaxy chemical evolution
  • Absorption line systems
  • Galaxy gas accretion and outflows
  • Star formation
  • Intergalactic medium
  • Circumgalactic medium
  • Ultraviolet astronomy


Research Topics: Star Formation, Histories, and Evolution; High-Redshift Galaxies; Galaxy Formation and Evolution; Astrochemistry, Chemical Abundances; Intergalactic Medium (IGM); Circumgalactic Medium (CGM); gas in and around galaxies


Professional Websites:

Professional Website




ORCID ID: 0000-0002-9946-4731

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