Anna Frebel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Since I was little, I've been interested in astronomy and especially stars. Stars have always fascinated me for some reason. It was then that I decided to become an astronomer, so I set out pursuing this career. I had many great mentors along the way, which I am very grateful for. I consider myself very fortunate that my initial passion indeed led me to become a professional astronomer and that my work centers on the oldest stars in the universe. I use these stars to unravel the details of the cosmic evolution of the chemical elements, which happens to nicely combine my long-standing interests in astronomy, nuclear physics, and chemistry.
I love to discover new stars that tell us facts about the very young universe. This means that my job is different every day because we don't know what we are going to find out next. I also love traveling to Chile to observe the stars with the 6.5-meter Magellan telescopes two to three times a year. Discovering things myself at the telescope is very empowering and just an awesome feeling. Based on the subsequent analyses (back at home), it then never gets boring to add more pieces to the puzzle of cosmic chemical evolution of the elements, a series of still ongoing processes that at some point enabled planet formation and the biological evolution on Earth. We just found another exciting old star that will keep life interesting in 2013.
Courtesy Anna Frebel