received my Ph.D in astronomy from Harvard University in 1982
and since then I have been employed by companies that work
for NASA, all located in the greater Washington, D.C. area.
I am very active in education for NASA, while conducting active
research programs in cosmology and space weather. I am also
the co-Editor of the
Encyclopedia of the Universe.
the 1980's, my dream as for many young astronomers, was to
get a tenured position in astronomy at some college or university,
but that option never materialized for me after applying to
over 50 institutions and in some cases being one of 700 to
apply for the same position.
I have since turned my creative energies in education toward
working with NASA to inspire the next generation of astronomers
and astronauts, and to writing articles for magazines such
as "Astronomy" and "Sky and Telescope."
My most recent article 'What if String
Theory is Wrong?" appeared in the February, 2007
issue of Astronomy. An article ' Bracing for a Solar Superstorm ' appears in the August 2008 issue of
Scientific American. Also, in 2013 a second article 'String Theory - what it tells us about the universe' appeared in Astronomy magazine.
have won a number of awards from NASA, and from the American
Astronomical Society for my education work.
I received the NASA 'Excellence in Outreach' award in 1999
from the Goddard Space Flight Center, along with awards for
my education and TV work for NASA since 2000. You
may find my award-winning web site The Astronomy Cafe a fun
place to visit for more about a career in astronomy, plus
my 3001-question FAQ archive on space and astronomy from A
In the recent past,
I have worked, and led, various NASA education programs for satellite
missions such as IMAGE and Hinode. I am also involved with the NASA Office of Space
Science 'Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum' where I develop
new NASA resources in solar-terrestrial science education,
and help NASA work with teachers at national conventions and
workshops across the country.
Currently, I am actively involved
in mathematics education, and was the developer and Director of NASA's SpaceMath@NASA resource for educators and students. This website provides
real-world math problems for grades 3-12 and beyond ,which show how mathematics is used in astronomical research. Examples drawn from press releases
include fractions, percentages and scientific notation, all the way through advanced algebra and calculus. Over 700 worked problems and 30 resource guide were created by me to
stimulate mathematical thinking on very cool topics in space science.
I am also working in the area of space weather research, where
I have been creating models of what happens with major solar
storms affect our satellites in space. My latest paper in
this area was published in 2007 in the Journal of Space Weather,
"Forecasting the impact of an 1859-caliber superstorm
on geosynchronous Earth- orbiting satellites: Transponder
resources" It shows that a major solar storm could cost
us over $30 billion in lost revenue from commercial geosynchronous
1975 ----UC Berkeley: "Most Outstanding Undergraduate
1975 ----Smithsonian Pre-doctoral Fellowship (Three years)
1991 ----BDM, Science Writer's Award for NASA's "Space
1994 ----COBE Working Group Award for Outstanding Service
1995 ----YAHOO Top Site of the Week: 'The Astronomy Cafe'
1996 ----Macmillan Top 5 % of the Web: 'The Astronomy Cafe'
1998 ----AAAS Science NetLinks Web Award for excellence in
1999 ---- NASA Goddard Award of Excellence in Outreach
1999 ----Crystal Award for best educational Video 'Blackout!'
1999 ----Telly Award for best educational video, "Blackout!"
2000 ----AAS Solar Physics Division Popular Science Writing
2001 ----Raytheon ITSS, Education and Public Outreach Award
2002 ----Emmy Award for Educational TV Program - NASA/CONNECT
2003 ----Telly Award for Educational TV Program - NASA/CONNECT
2004 ----Emmy Award for Educational TV Program 'Transit of
2005 ----NASA Education Group Achievement Award 'Transit of
2006 ----Excellence in Outreach Award - Eclipse 2006: In a
2013 ----NASA Education Group Achievement Award 'Transit of Venus'
Ph.D in Astronomy from Harvard University, 1982
A.M in Astronomy from Harvard University, 1976
A.B in Astronomy from U.C. Berkeley, 1975
My Ph.D Dissertation: A Far-Infrared Survey of the Galactic
Teaching Fellow............Harvard University...................1976-1982
Instructor.........Cambridge Center for Adult Education.........1977-1980
Instructor.........Smithsonian Resident Associates Program......1986-1991
Shapley Lecture........American Astronomical Society............1993-
Publications in Astronomy
"Present and Past Death-Rates for Globular Clusters"
A.P. Lightman, W.H. Press, S.F. Odenwald The Astrophysical
Journal, Vol.219, pg. 629.
"Far-Infrared Sources in the Vicinity of the Supernova
Remnant W- 28" S. Odenwald, K. Shivanandan, G. Fazio,
T. Rengarajan, B. McBreen, M. Campbell, H. Moseley, The Astrophysical
Journal, v. 279, p. 162.
"A Far-Infrared Survey of the Galactic Center"
S. Odenwald, G. Fazio The Astrophysical Journal, v. 283, p.
"Observations of the Radio Noise Background in the Frequency
Range 150 - 180 kHz" S. H. Knowles, F. J. Kelly, S. Odenwald,
B. Waltman IES Symposium 1984, Alexandria, Va.
"Focal Plane Instrumentation for a 102-cm, Balloon Borne
Infrared Telescope" K. Shivanandan, S. Odenwald, P. Schwartz,
G. G. Fazio, H. Moseley. Technical Digest of the 9th International
Conference on Infrared and Millimeter Waves, Osaka, Japan,
22-26 Oct. 1984.
"A Search for Infrared Excesses in G-Type Stars"
S. Odenwald Proceedings of the First IRAS Symposium Light
on Dark Matter
"Active Star Formation in NGC-2264" P. Schwartz,
H. Thronson Jr., S.F. Odenwald, W. Glaccum, R. Loewenstein,
G. Wolf The Astrophysical Journal,v. 292, 231.
"Far-Infrared Observations of the Molecular Cloud Near
IC-443. ABS S. Odenwald, K. Shivanandan The Astrophysical
Journal, v. 292, 460.
"Far-Infrared Observations of OB Stars in the Cygnus-X
Region : DR-6, 7 and 22." S. Odenwald, M. Campbell, K.
Shivanandan, G. Fazio, P. Schwarz and H. Moseley. The Astrophysical
Journal v. 306, 122.
"Infrared Emission from G-Type Stars " S. Odenwald
The Astrophysical Journal v. 307, 711
"CO and Far-IR Observations of Bright Spiral Galaxies
in the Ursa Major I(S) Cluster" ABS S. Odenwald. The
Astrophysical Journal v. 310, 86
"He3 Photometer System for Millimeter Wave Astronomy"
K. Shivanandan, P. Schwartz, S. Odenwald and H. Moseley International
Journal of IR and MM Waves 987, v. 8, No. 1.
"Hydrodynamic Phenomena in the Draco Molecular Cloud"
ABS S. Odenwald, L.J Rickard The Astrophysical Journal, v.
"VLA Observations of a Complete Sample of Sources from
the S-5 Catalogue" H. Kuhr, K. Johnston, S. F. Odenwald,
Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement, v. 71, 493.
"Far-IR and Optical Studies of Comet-like Clouds: Mach
Cones and Hydrodynamics?" S. Odenwald The Astrophysical
Journal, v. 325, 320.
"VLA Observations of Far-IR Sources in the Galactic
Center" S. Odenwald IAU Symposium 136: The Galactic Center,
"DR-15 and DR-20: Far-Infrared and Radio Observations
of Young B-star Nurseries" ABS S. Odenwald, M. Campbell,
K. Shivanandan, G. Fazio, P. Schwartz and H. Moseley The Astronomical
Journal, v. 99, 288.
"An IRAS Survey of Young Stellar Objects Towards the
Cygnus-X Region" S. F. Odenwald The Astronomical Journal,
v. 97, 801.
"The Origin of the Universe: Cosmogenesis Ex Nihilo"
S. F. Odenwald Zygon, Vol. 25, No. 1, pg. 25.
"Five Unusual Compact CO Sources in the Cygnus-X Region"
ABS S.F. Odenwald and P.R. Schwartz The Astrophysical Journal
Letters, v. 345, L47.
"A New Infrared Camera for Astronomical Observations
at 10 and 20 microns" ABS S.F. Odenwald, K. Shivanandan
and H. Thronson Publications of the Astronomical Society of
the Pacific February, 1992.
"G110-13: A Low Mass Star Forming Region at High Galactic
Latitude" ABS The Astrophysical Journal, September 20,
"A CO Survey of IRAS-detected Young Stellar Objects
Towards the Cygnus-X Region" ABS S.F. Odenwald and P.R.
Schwartz The Astrophysical Journal, February 1991
"G0.281-0.47: A Crab-like SNR Towards the Galactic Center"
ABS S.F. Odenwald and F. Yusef-Zadeh The Astrophysical Journal
"A Program for Integrating the HST Guide Star Catalog
with Commonly Used Astronomical Databases" S.F. Odenwald
Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Science
with the Hubble Space Telescope, June 17-24, Sardinia Italy.
" The Cygnus-X Region: An IRAS View" Proceedings
of the Back to the Galaxy Conference, Univ. of Maryland, October
"Clustering of the Diffuse Infrared Light from the COBE
DIRBE maps, I. C (O) and limits on the near-IR background,"
A. Kashlinsky, J.C. Mather, S. Odenwald, M.G. Hauser, The
Astrophysical Journal, 470, 681, 1996
"Clustering of the diffuse infrared light from the COBE
DIRBE maps.II. An all sky survey of C(0)", Kashlinsky,A.,
Mather,J. and Odenwald, S., The Astrophysical Journal(Letters),473,
"A COBE/DIRBE Survey of Nearby Galaxies", S. Odenwald,
J. Newmark and G. Smoot, The Astrophysical Journal, 1998,
"Clustering of the diffuse infrared light from the COBE/DIRBE
maps. III. Power spectrum analysis and possible detection
of cosmic infrared background fluctuations" Kashlinsky,A.,
and Odenwald, S. 2000, Ap.J. v. 528, 74.
"Detection of Small-Scale Fluctuations in the Near-IR
Cosmic Infrared Background from Long-exposure 2MASS fields",
2002 Kashlinsky, A., Odenwald, S., Mather, J., Skrutskie,
M. and Cutri, R., ApJ(Letters) 579, L53.
"Analysis of the Diffuse Near-Infrared Emission from
2MASS Deep Integration Data: Foregrounds Versus Cosmic Infrared
Background", Odenwald, S., Kashlinsky, A, Mather, J.,
Skrutskie, M. and Cutri, A. 2003, ApJ 583, p. 535.
"Forecasting the Impact of an 1859-Calibre Superstorm
on Satellite Resources', Odenwald ,S., Green, J. and Taylor,
W., 2006, Advances in Space Research, 38, p.280-297.
"Eyewitness Accounts of the 1859 Superstorm', Green,
J., Boardsen, S. and Odenwald, S., 2006, Advances in Space
Research, 38, p.145-154.
"Forecasting the impact of an 1859-caliber superstorm
on geosynchronous Earth- orbiting satellites: Transponder
resources", Odenwald, S. F., and J. L. Green, 2007, Space
Weather, 5, S06002, doi:10.1029/2006SW000262.
"Newspaper Reporting of Space Weather: The end of a
Golden Era", 2007, Odenwald ,S.F., Journal of Space Weather,
"Statistical Estimates of Anomaly Rates for Geostationary
Satellites", 2007 ,Odenwald ,S.F., Journal of Space Weather,
" The Astronomy Cafe: 365 questions and answers from
Ask the Astronomer, W.H. Freeman, May, 1998.
" Exploring the Universe...Technical Consultant for
" The 23rd Cycle:Learning to live with a stormy star,
Odenwald, S. 2001 Univ. Columbia Press.
" Patterns in the Void: Why nothing is important, S.
Odenwald, 2002, (Westview Press: Boulder CO)
" Back to the Astronomy Cafe, 2003, (Westview Press:
" Concepts in Space Science, 2002, (Universities Press:
" Stepping Through the Stargate, 2004, (Benbella Books,
"Heliophysics II Space Storms and Radiation: Causes
and Effects, 2008, K. Schrijver and G. Siscoe, eds., (Elsever
"NASA Press Releases: Exploring the mathematics behind the science." in 'The International Handbook of Innovation Education', ed. Dr. Larisa Shavinina (Taylor & Francis/Routledge 2012)
in Non-Technical Magazines and Newspapers
The Decay of the False Vacuum ----Astronomy, November, 1983,
The Planck Era ----Astronomy, March 1984, p. 66.
Astronomical Ballooning ----Astronomy, August 1984, p. 6
Does Space Have More Than 3 Dimensions? ----Astronomy, November
1984, p. 67.
A Quickie Guide to Analyzing Infrared Data ----Astronomy,
Astronomical Ballooning : The Road to Discovery. ----Astronomy,
Beyond the Big Bang ----Astronomy May 1987, pg. 90.
Night Views Astronomy, -----August 1991
What if String Theory is Wrong? ----Astronomy, February,
The Sun - An Introduction ----Astronomy, November 2007
Turning Pro: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" ----Sky
and Telescope, February, 1989
The Cosmological Constant: 70 Years of an Enigma" ----Sky
and Telescope, April 1991
The Cosmological Redshift Explained" ----Sky and Telescope,
The Final Frontier of Spacetime" ----Sky and Telescope,
Solar Storms - The Invisible Menace" ----Sky and Telescope,
Waiting for the Big One ----Sky and Telescope, July 2007.
"The Cosmological Constant" ----Newton, (in Japanese)
"The Big Bang was NOT an Explosion" ----The Washington
Post, May 16, 1997.
Solar Storms: The hidden menace ----The Washington Post,
March 10, 1998
What if String Theory is Wrong? ----Astronomy, (2/2007)
Waiting for the Big One ----- Sky and Telescope, (7/2007).
Bracing for a Solar Superstorm ----- Scientific American, (8,2008)
The Coming Solar Superstorm------Astronomy, (9/2008)
The Sun - An Introduction ---- Astronomy, (11/2008)
String Theory -----Astronomy, (4/2013)
"Highlights: The Supporting Research and Technology
Program Annual Report", 2003. NASA Headquarters/OSS (NP-2003-5-308-HQ)
"Space Weather", 2002, Educational CDROM
"Space Weather", 2001, NASA Lithograph Set, (LG-2001-9-034-GSFC)
"IMAGE: Revealing the Impacts of Invisible Solar Storms",
2001, NASA Lithograph (LG-2001-10-035-GSFC)
"Solar Storms and You", 2000, (EG-2000-03-002-GSFC)
"Are You Ready for Solar Max?", 2000, (EB-2000-02-005-GSFC)
"Hubble Space Telescope Slide Set", 1991, NASA/Office
of Space Science
"Space Mathematics Collected Problems (2006-2013) http://tinyurl.com/bva8nzq
"Image Scaling (2008) http://tinyurl.com/bnzz9oo
"Black Hole Math (2009) http://tinyurl.com/bqj3zwz
"Magnetic Math (2009) http://tinyurl.com/cxv8ztt
"Earth Math (2009) http://tinyurl.com/cvgm96v
"Electromagnetic Math (2010) http://tinyurl.com/bp77prp
"Space Weather Math (2010) http://tinyurl.com/cnz9lln
"Transit Math (2010) http://tinyurl.com/bprf7nj
"Algebra 2 (2010) http://tinyurl.com/chzzmmz
"Remote Sensing Math (2011) http://tinyurl.com/bt9vqlx
"Astrobiology Math (2011) http://tinyurl.com/c7mh7q4
"Radiation Math (2011) http://tinyurl.com/c8wdcf3
"Solar Math (2012) http://tinyurl.com/c4vyv5b
"Lunar Math(2012) http://tinyurl.com/bqlquqj
"Mars Math (2012) http://tinyurl.com/c86g3yh
"Exploring the Lunar Surface (2013) http://tinyurl.com/dylrrfn
"Exploring Planetary Moons (2013) http://tinyurl.com/cwlwyuv
"Exploring Stars in the Milky Way (2013) http://tinyurl.com/cmcpj6v
Exploring the Milky Way (2013) http://tinyurl.com/bsr3dwd
" Blackout!, NASA Education Video, September 1998.
" NASA/CONNECT 'Having a Solar Blast' NASA TV, March
" NASA/CONNECT 'Dancing in the Night Sky', NASA TV, April
" NASA 'Destination:Tomorrow', Program 10, February 20,
" KidzOnline Web Broadcast of Transit of Venus, February
" NASA/CONNECT 'The Transit of Venus', NASA TV, March
" NASA: Live 'The Transit of Venus', NASA TV, April 15,
" NASA/CONNECT 'Ancient Observatories', March 21, 2005
" NASA Why Files 'The Case of the Technical Knock-out',
April 21, 2005
" NASA/CONNECT 'Eclipse 2006: In a Different Light',
" Solar Storms - A talk with astronomer Sten Odenwald, November 2008.
" Solar Storms and the Hinode Satellite, December 2008.
" Solar Storms and the 1989 Blackout, March 2009.
" Library of Congress:The Transit of Venus 2012, May 2012.
" 'Earth and Sky Radio', Solar Superstorms, February
" 'Earth and Sky Radio', Transits and Exoplanets, June
" 'Earth and Sky Radio' The Transit of Venus, June 4,
" 'Let's Talk Stars', KTKT-Tucson, David Levy, April
" 'Let's Talk Stars', KTKT-Tucson, David Levy, September
" 'Sky Tour' , WHYY-NPR Philadelphia, June 20, 2002
" 'Earth and Sky Radio', Deborah Byrd, October 27, 2001
" 'Dreamland' , Whitley Streaber, April 8, 2001
" 'The Todd Mundt Show', NPR January 18, 2001
" 'Public Impact' , NPR, July 13, 1998
The Astronomy Cafe (http://www.astronomycafe.net)
An award winning web site for people and students interested
in astronomy. Articles about what professional astronomy is
like, plus a 3001 FAQ archive: the largest on the internet.
Rated as one of the Top 5% web sites, and a well known resource
for over 300,000 visitors. 6 million 'hits' since August 1995.
NASA's IMAGE/POETRY (http://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry)
education and public outreach web site. A collection of resources
for teachers in the area of space physics, the sun-earth interactions,
with a 1600+ FAQ archive that receives 40 new questions each
day, and answered by 'Ask the Space Scientist'. Over 500,000
hits per month since 1996.
Space Weather (http://www.solarstorms.org)
This is the most complete and authoritative web resource on
the technological and human impacts of solar storms and space
I am the Education and Public Outreach manager for NASA/Solar-B
EIS instrument (http://solarb.msfc.nasa.gov)
Consultant and writer for Library of Congress 'I Hear America
Singing' web site on the Transit of Venus ( http://www.loc.gov/rr/perform/ihas/)
Coordinator of the NASA/THEMIS ground-based student magnetometer
array 'Geomagnetic Event Observation Network' (GEON) (http://ds9.ssl.berkeley.edu/themis/classroom.)
Lead author and science consultant for the NASA, Sun-Earth
Connection Education Forum (SECEF) web site (http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov),
and the Technology Through Time resource for teachers (http://sunearthday.nasa.gov/2007/locations/index.php)
At the NASA Space Math website, also create weekly math problems
for students and teachers that emphasize space science and
astronomy themes at NASA (http://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov)
I am also the co-Editor of the Digital Universe Wikipedia