Hubble Space Telescope image of galaxy cluster Abell 370

Bienvenidos! Welcome! Willkommen!
to my personal website.

I am a Colombian astronomer investigating Galaxies and Quasars in the Epoch of Reionization. I am currently doing my fourth year as a doctoral student at the International Max Planck Research School in Heidelberg, Germany (IMPRS-HD) program.

I am looking for postdoc jobs this Fall 22. You can contact me HERE.

Image Credit: Abell 370. NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz and the HFF Team (STScI)

News:
It has been six months since JWST successfully launched on December 25th and it has had a great journey! All instruments are ready and actually, we are having science data observed NOW! Find out more details about the first images observed with JWST and the science behind them as I describe it in this Podcast.

Read more about the research I will do with JWST Go!
En Español: Mira este video donde charlamos un poco sobre el JWST, su importancia, instrumentos y las siguientes décadas de exploración espacial. Ver Video.

Deepest image yet observed of the universe with JWST Deepest image of the universe yet observed with JWST, featuring galaxy cluster SMACS 0723. Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI

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Photo of Sofía Rojas in San Javier, Cundinamarca, Colombia

About Me

My journey through astronomy started when I was a little girl watching Cosmos and stargazing with my telescope. Becoming an astronomer like Carl Sagan seemed surreal because I could not have achieved this dream in Colombia. When I turned 16, I left my home and went to the U.S. to prepare my university applications and finally be able to study Astronomy. A year later, I was accepted at The University of Texas at Austin where I obtained a B.S. in Astronomy and a B.S. in Phyisics. I am currently a Ph.D. student at The Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg (MPIA) working on very exciting research.
So, now I am finally an astronomer and I love it! It has been a long, hard journey but in the way I have had a lot of support. How have I been developing my astronomy career and what are my other hobbies now? Let's see, it all started with...

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Image describing cosmic time from the Cosmic Microwave Background (380,000 yrs
						after the Big Bang) until
						today (13.8Gyr after Big Bang), highlighting one of the most distant quasars, ULAS J1342+0928.

Research Projects

I have lead different projects and telescope proposals focused on studying galaxies and quasars in the high-redshift universe (z ≳ 6), or when the Universe was less than a Billion years old.

I have worked with different space-based and ground-based telescopes covering the optical/near-IR and radio wavelengths. Here is a quick look of the JWST Cy1 Proposal that I Co-PI with Dr. Micaela Bagley to confirm and study the ionization potential of a set of z ~ 9 galaxies.

Image Credit: Robin Dienel/Carnegie Institute of Science
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Photo of Sofía Rojas presenting a poster of her research at the First Light School in Sao Paulo, 2019.

CV Highlights

Education Year
PhD(c) International Max Planck Research School - Heidelberg 2019-present
B.S. Astronomy and B.S. Physics
The University of Texas at Austin
2015 - 2019

    Awards/Scholarships

  • ESO Science Support Discretionary Fund (SSDF) 2020
  • IMPRS PhD Fellowship 2019
  • General ISSS Scholarship, UT International Office 2016-2019
  • Student Researcher Award, UT Office of Undergraduate Research 2019
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Photo of the Telescopes at Kitt Peak Observatory, taken by Sofía Rojas.

Telescopes

I absolutley love telescopes and observing!
I have been very lucky to go on many observing trips and learn to use a great variety of instruments. From space-based to optical/IR ground-based to radio telescopes, I enjoy observing with them all. As an observational astronomer I usually write a research proposal, get it accepted (rejections are ok too), go to the telescope to take the data and learn to be sleep deprived for the first few nights (although many times a telescope operator does the observations for me), and finally do the science! This process is one of the main motivators I have to do astronomy.

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Diagram showing the organization and different nodes from RECA, the Network of Colombian
									Astronomy Students.

Outreach and Resources

One of my passions is bringing awareness about Astronomy to the Colombian community, as well as showcasing the work Colombian astronomers do. I am part of the committee of the "Red de Estudiantes Colombianos de Astronomía - RECA" (Network of Colombian Astronomy Students). We build a lot of programs for Colombian students in schools and universities wanting to study and do research in Astronomy.

I have compiled a couple of resources from myself and RECA. Hopefully some of these tools and advice are useful, but remember a lot of it is based on my personal experience. Always happy to chat!

Image Credit: RECA
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