This occasional series focuses on members of the Frontier Fields team. It highlights the individuals, their jobs, and the paths they took to get to where they are today.
Dan Coe, ESA/AURA Astronomer, in front of the first Frontier Fields image, Abell 2744.
What is your position? What are your responsibilities?
I am an ESA/AURA astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore. I use gravitational lensing to search for distant galaxies in Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescope images. I am the gravitational lens model coordinator for the Frontier Fields program. I also work to support astronomers’ use of Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Near-Infrared Camera on the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope.
How did you get involved with the Frontier Fields program?
In 2012, working on the Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH), I discovered a candidate for the most distant galaxy yet known, MACS0647-JD. Its light took about 13.4 billion years to get here, so we see it as it was long ago. We are looking 97 percent of the way back to the Big Bang. Back then, galaxies were much smaller, just 1 percent the size of our Milky Way, ...