Dr. Marc A Rafelski


Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) Branch Manager at STScI

Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Associate Research Scientist

I am the COS Branch Manager at Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and an Associate Research Scientist at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). I spend half my time supporting the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph instrument on  the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and the other half conducting astrophysical research. The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) team is extending the life of COS out to 2030 and beyond by creating two new lifetime positions and moving into a hybrid mode of operating different modes at different lifetime positions.

I lead the Galaxies and the CGM group made up of scientists and post-docs at STScI and JHU. My research interests are in the area of galaxy formation and evolution and how galaxies exchange gas with their surroundings. This is accomplished in part by studying the physical characteristics and processes of high redshift galaxies and their associated gas reservoirs. One way to do so is via chemical abundance and star formation studies of absorption line systems such as damped Lyman-alpha systems, which provide a unique laboratory for understanding the conversion of cold neutral gas into stars at high redshift. Another is to connect the gas observed in detail in absorption to the associated galaxies observed in emission. Finally, the morphological structure of galaxies informs us about the recent history of galaxies (mergers, gas flows, bursts) and thus provide further insights.