Prof. Michael Shara

Professor Michael Shara is Curator in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Prior to joining the Museum, he was with the Space Telescope Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University for 17 years, where he was responsible for the peer review committees for NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Michael's research interests include the structure and evolution of novae and supernovae; collisions between stars and the remnant descendants of those collisions; the populations of stars inhabiting star clusters and galaxies; and the optical properties of ionic liquids. He frequently observes with the Hubble Space Telescope and other large ground-based telescopes. He has published over 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals, garnering over 7,500 references in the peer-reviewed literature. His principle responsibilities at the Museum are to conduct astronomical research, train young astrophysicists, and build space-shows and exhibitions.

He has served on many US National Science Foundation and NASA Committees, and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Southern Africa Large Telescope (the largest telescope in the Southern Hemisphere). He curated the AMNH Einstein exhibition, the Beyond Planet Earth exhibition and several AMNH space-shows seen by millions of people worldwide. When not doing astronomy, Michael is a gung-ho scuba diver, enjoying the company of sharks in the South Pacific.