Profile

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.

Education:

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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