Team Biographies

George Sonneborn
Operations Project Scientist

Dr. George Sonneborn was the NASA Project Scientist for Operations for the James Webb Space Telescope at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, starting in 2005. He is also a research astrophysicist in Goddard's Observational Cosmology Laboratory.

Sonneborn's research interests include:

  • Supernovae and supernova remnants, especially Supernova 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud
  • Atomic and molecular gas in the interstellar medium and in gaseous nebulae
  • Evolution and winds of massive stars

Prior to joining the Webb telescope project, Sonneborn was the Project Scientist for the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) mission from the start of the Phase A study in 1988 to the end of the mission in 2009. FUSE was a NASA Explorer mission used by thousands of astronomers to study stars, galaxies, and the gas between them, in the far-ultraviolet wavelength range of 900 to 1200 Angstroms.

From October 2009 until August 2010 Sonneorn was the acting Senior Project Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope, following the retirment of Dr. David Leckrone. He was succeeded by Dr. Jennifer Wiseman in August 2010.

Sonneborn came to Goddard in 1982 as a resident astronomer in the Science Operations Center of the International Ultraviolet Explorer. He received his Ph.D. in Astronomy from The Ohio State University in 1980.