Support Scientist

Dr. Will Fischer is a support scientist for Hubble's Cosmic Origins Spectrograph. Although COS was installed on Hubble nearly a decade ago, it continues to gain new capabilities. Currently, Will's major focus is the calibration of a new setting for COS, cenwave 800. This will improve the sensitivity of the instrument at wavelengths below 1100 Angstroms and allow a full far-ultraviolet spectrum to be obtained with one setting. Cenwave 800 is offered starting in Cycle 26.

Will's research focuses on the formation of low-mass stars and planetary systems, using photometry and spectroscopy to understand how stars like the Sun build up their mass. Is it primarily through steady infall from a protostellar envelope mediated by a protoplanetary disk, or is it primarily through stochastic bursts of enhanced accretion? Will has used a variety of infrared space and airborne telescopes, including Hubble, Herschel, Spitzer, WISE, and SOFIA, to understand star formation. He is helping to develop a draft science case to survey nearby star-forming regions with the Origins Space Telescope, a NASA concept study for a far-infrared survey telescope.

Before coming to STScI, Will was a postdoc at the University of Toledo, where he was a member of the Herschel Orion Protostar Survey team, and he was a postdoc at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Between the two postdocs, Will was a visiting professor for a semester at Oberlin College. He enjoys visiting area schools and community centers to discuss astronomy.


PhD in Astronomy, University of Massachusetts
MS in Astronomy, University of Massachusetts
BS in Physics, University of Toledo


Science Interests:

  • Characterization of protoplanetary disks and envelopes
  • Photometric and spectroscopic variability of young stellar objects
  • Episodic accretion in young stellar objects
  • Modeling of emission lines in young stellar objects
  • Mid-infrared spectroscopy


Research Topics: Star Formation, Histories, and Evolution; Interstellar Medium; Dust; Star Clusters


Professional Websites:

Professional Website


ORCID ID: 0000-0002-3747-2496

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