Dr. Stephen (Steve) Drake

Employer: Universities Space Research Association
Job Description: Senior Scientist
Phone: (301) 286-6962
e-mail: stephen.a.drake 'at' nasa.gov

Steve Drake received his BSc in Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh in 1973, and his MA and PhD in Astronomy at UCLA in 1975 and 1980, respectively. For his PhD, he wrote a thesis under the direction of Roger Ulrich (who was later awarded the Arctowski Medal in April 2002 by the National Academy of Sciences for his pioneering work on the solar 5-minute oscillations), on `The Emission Lines and Continuum Emission from a Slab of Hydrogen at Moderate-to-High Densities', and spent a short time at UCLA as a post-doc. Steve subsequently worked from 1981 to 1985 at JILA (U. Colorado) in a post-doctoral position for Jeff Linsky, and then from 1985 to 1991 at the Solar Maximum Mission (SMM) project at NASA/GSFC as a support scientist for the Ultraviolet Spectrometer and Polarimeter instrument on SMM, before he joined the scientific staff of the HEASARC in January 1991 where he has roosted ever since.

Steve's research interests are in the area of galactic, particularly stellar, astronomy, and he has studied stars all over the HR Diagram from the hottest O stars to the coolest M (and S) stars, supergiant stars, and the Sun. If pressed, he may admit that RS CVn stars and magnetic Bp stars are among his favorites. He has studied the atmospheres (photospheres, chromospheres, and coronae) and winds of this variety of stars, using a multi-waveband approach in which observations of these stars at radio, optical, UV, EUV, and X-ray energies are made use of. He was previously extensively involved in the study of the X-ray spectra of stellar coronae of late-type stars using data obtained from instruments on the 1990s-generation X-ray detectors on the ROSAT and ASCA spacecraft, and is currently actively involved in analyzing newly obtained data from instruments on the 2000s- and later-generations of X-ray detectors on NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory (CXO) and Swift Gamma-Ray Burst mission, JAXA's Suzaku mission, and ESA's XMM-Newton Observatory..

At the HEASARC, Steve has been involved in the restoration of old high-energy datasets into modern formats, the addition of new databases and catalogs to the HEASARC archive, the maintenance and update of the HEASARC's archive and webpages, the monitoring of the usage of the HEASARC's web and anonymous ftp areas, the monitoring of users' questions, praise and complaints sent to the HEASARC's Feedback line, among various other things. He is also the designated HEASARC scientist for the RXTE, CGRO, and XMM-Newton projects. Finally, he is a science team member for the Neutron star Interior Composition ExploreR mission and a member of the Observatory Science working group for the enhanced X-ray Timing and Polarimetry mission (eXTP) mission .

Steve's biography and publications list can be found here



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