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Job Details

Requisition Number 18-0014
Post Date 2/7/2018
Title Data Reduction Specialist
City Tucson
State AZ

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) invites applications for a Data Reduction Specialist to reduce and analyze astronomical UV slitless spectra acquired with the Hubble Space Telescope. The targets are 75 Galactic planetary nebulae, and the science goal is to measure their carbon abundance. Planetary nebulae are major cosmic recyclers, and their carbon content is essential to constrain the models of Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) evolution. The Data Reduction Specialist will work with NOAO and STScI scientists to reduce the data set and to develop a catalog of images and spectra. The term of appointment will be one year.

Essential Functions:

  • Ingest and analyze HST data in a timely manner. Analysis will include (1) data reduction and spectral extraction; (2) line flux measurements; (3) limited chemical analysis and plasma diagnostics (using ancillary data); (4) developing a project webpage, where monochromatic images and PN spectra will be published. Possible High-Level data product will be produced.


  • Bachelor of Science in astronomy or physics.
  • Prior astronomy research experience.
  • Intermediate computer programming skills with Python.
  • Knowledge and experience using JavaScript to develop interactive tools.
  • Basic Webpage development skills.

Preferred Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Experience with astronomical data reduction packages, in particular with STSDAS packages .
  • Experience with astronomical data analysis tools .
  • Basic knowledge of SQL or ADQL, and using databases.

Applicants are required to submit a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, a statement of current and future research interests, and three confidential letters of reference with the name of the applicant included in the subject heading, all as PDF files. Please name any attachments with the following format: 18-0014LastnameDocname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to

Questions regarding this position should be sent to Dr. Letizia Stanghellini at

NOAO offers an excellent benefits package, competitive salary commensurate with experience, and a very attractive work environment.

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) manages several astronomical observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory and the Gemini Observatory) and construction projects (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and Daniel. K. Inouye Solar Telescope) in the United States and Chile under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation.

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our recordkeeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

  • Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities.
  • Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.
  • The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)
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