Justin Ely
3700 San Martin Drive | Baltimore, MD 21218 | 410.338.4394

Space Telescope Science Institute

I work day to day at the intersection of astronomy and computer science to support the science operations of the Hubble Space Telescope and the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope. My primary responsibility is to lead the Data Analysis Team of the Science Software Branch to ensure the astronomical community has the tools they need to get high-quality science from their observations.

STScI Mission Support

JWST Data Analysis

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has a 5 year nominal mission, which mandates that the user community be able to perform robust scientific analysis and visualization from the very first day of operations. The JWST DA Toolkit is an evolving collection of stand-alone tools, algorithms, and libraries pertinent to JWST data and astronomical data analysis. Though the full-suite of tools will be even richer at launch, already included are spectral and image viewers, tools for general linked-dataset analysis, and libraries for photometry, spectroscopy, and image manipulation.


The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) is an astronomical spectrograph that operates in the Far-Ultraviolet (FUV) regime. The primary science objectives of the mission are the study of the origins of large scale structure in the Universe, the formation and evolution of galaxies, the origin of stellar and planetary systems, and the cold interstellar medium. While working on the COS instrument team, I wrote data monitor codebases, and developed new calibrations like flat-fields and extraction algorithms.

IRAF Transition Effort

Though relatively unknown outside of astronomy, the Image Reduction and Analysis Facility (IRAF) has been the primary workhorse for the treatment and analysis of astronomical data for decades.

Though much of the community has moved to newer languages, such as python, many key functions needed by the community remain soley in the IRAF ecosystem. To ameliorate this, STScI is providing python translations, jupyter workflows , and function ports.

Scientific Research Projects


This project is am abitious large collaborative effort to perform high-cadence, multi-observatory, reverberation mapping of the broad UV absorption lines for the AGN NGC-5548.

Though the work is still ongoing, and thus priorietary, HST propoasl information can be found here, or in the first paper.

Lightcurve Legacy

This project aims to expand the scope of the COS and STIS instruments, and take advantage of their exquisite ability to count photons in time and space to deliver high quality, flux calibrated UV light curves for all publicly available datasets.

Software Carpentry

I've volunteered as a Software Carpentry instructor since 2012, when I had the fortune to take a class from the amazing Greg Wilson. His insights into programming, teaching, and just everyday thinking inspired me so much that I was on a plane to teach my first workshop in no time.

Since then, I've had the extreme pleasure to teach the shell, python, git, and sql to students, researchers, and professionals in all stages of their careers. This experience has brought me all accross the US, and overseas locations like Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Learn more about this great organization, and see how to participate, at software-carpentry.org

More Info