Dr. Rachel Osten is an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute. She finds stars fascinating, and has used radio telescopes, Hubble, and X-ray observatories to study the outer parts of stars cooler than the Sun. Some of her research interests include the causes of light fluctuations in cool stars, and how they can be used to determine the makeup of the stars.
Osten graduated from Harvard University in 1996 with an AB degree in physics and astronomy. It was here that she first used Hubble, working with data from one of the first-generation instruments — the Faint Object Spectrograph — for her undergraduate thesis.
She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, obtaining a PhD in 2002. One of the very first things Osten did while a graduate student was help with the ground testing of another instrument soon to be installed on Hubble, the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph.
After finishing her degree, she was a Jansky Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, then a Hubble Fellow at the University of Maryland. She has been a member of the scientific staff at the Institute since the fall of 2008.