Scientific Visualization Studio Group

Mark U Subbarao


Mark U Subbarao's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.286.4030
Org Code: 606.4
Mail Code 606.4
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

Mark SubbaRao leads NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio, a group tasked with visualizing NASA science results for public audiences. Before joining NASA, Mark spent 18 years at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, where he produced planetarium shows and designed museum exhibits featuring data-driven scientific visualizations. During 2019-2020 Mark served as President of the International Planetarium Society (IPS), where he spearheaded the ‘Data to Dome’’ initiative - an effort to prepare the planetarium community for the big data era. Before that he worked at the University of Chicago where he was part of a team that created the largest 3D map of the Universe, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

Current Projects

My Visualizations

SVS Repository

My Publications

On Google Scholar

On ORCiD 0000-0002-5668-9674


lead NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center

December 2020 - Present

Space Visualization Laboratory Director

Adler Planetarium - Chicago, IL

March 2003 - December 2020

Research Scientist

University of Chicago - Chicago, IL

June 1998 - June 2008



· PhD Thesis: Galaxy Luminosity Functions: Techniques, Environment and Evolution

· Thesis Advisor: Alexander S. Szalay


· Major: Engineering Physics

Professional Societies

International Planetarium Society

President (2019-2020)

2012 - Present

International Astronomical Union

2018 - Present

American Astronomical Society

1996 - Present




2018. "Effectively Coordinating Museums and Planetariums Worldwide." Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union 14 (A30): 536-541 [10.1017/s1743921319005301] [Proceedings]

2015. "A Flight through the Universe." Computing in Science & Engineering 17 (6): 96-102 [10.1109/mcse.2015.118] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Comparing Short‐ and Long‐Term Learning Effects Between Stereoscopic and Two‐Dimensional Film at a Planetarium." Science Education 99 (6): 1118-1142 [10.1002/sce.21185] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "THE MULTI-OBJECT, FIBER-FED SPECTROGRAPHS FOR THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY AND THE BARYON OSCILLATION SPECTROSCOPIC SURVEY." The Astronomical Journal 146 (2): 32 [10.1088/0004-6256/146/2/32] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Galaxies with background QSOs - I. A search for strong galactic Hα lines." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 423 (4): 3692-3708 [10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21166.x] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "SPECTROSCOPIC DETERMINATION OF THE LOW-REDSHIFT TYPE Ia SUPERNOVA RATE FROM THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY." The Astrophysical Journal 731 (1): 42 [10.1088/0004-637x/731/1/42] [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY QUASAR CATALOG. V. SEVENTH DATA RELEASE." The Astronomical Journal 139 (6): 2360-2373 [10.1088/0004-6256/139/6/2360] [Journal Article/Letter]

2009. "Planetary-Scale Terrain Composition." IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 15 (5): 719-733 [10.1109/tvcg.2009.43] [Journal Article/Letter]

2009. "THE SEVENTH DATA RELEASE OF THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY." The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 182 (2): 543-558 [10.1088/0067-0049/182/2/543] [Journal Article/Letter]

2009. "SEGUE: A SPECTROSCOPIC SURVEY OF 240,000 STARS WITHg= 14-20." The Astronomical Journal 137 (5): 4377-4399 [10.1088/0004-6256/137/5/4377] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "Visualization of large scale structure from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey." New Journal of Physics 10 (12): 125015 [10.1088/1367-2630/10/12/125015] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "A picture of the cosmos." Physics World 21 (12): 29-32 [10.1088/2058-7058/21/12/36] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "Average Properties of a Large Sample ofzabszemAssociated MgiiAbsorption Line Systems." The Astrophysical Journal 679 (1): 239-259 [10.1086/587122] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "Additional Ultracool White Dwarfs Found in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey." The Astrophysical Journal 679 (1): 697-703 [10.1086/587160] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "The Sixth Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey." The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 175 (2): 297-313 [10.1086/524984] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "Voluble: a space-time diagram of the solar system." The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2008 [10.1117/12.773176] [Proceedings]

2007. "THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY-II SUPERNOVA SURVEY: TECHNICAL SUMMARY." The Astronomical Journal 135 (1): 338-347 [10.1088/0004-6256/135/1/338] [Journal Article/Letter]

2007. "THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY-II SUPERNOVA SURVEY: SEARCH ALGORITHM AND FOLLOW-UP OBSERVATIONS." The Astronomical Journal 135 (1): 348-373 [10.1088/0004-6256/135/1/348] [Journal Article/Letter]

2007. "The Fifth Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey." The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 172 (2): 634-644 [10.1086/518864] [Journal Article/Letter]

2007. "The Sloan Digital Sky Survey Quasar Catalog. IV. Fifth Data Release." The Astronomical Journal 134 (1): 102-117 [10.1086/518474] [Journal Article/Letter]

2006. "Objective Subclass Determination of Sloan Digital Sky Survey Spectroscopically Unclassified Objects." The Astrophysical Journal 649 (2): 678-691 [10.1086/506504] [Journal Article/Letter]

2006. "A Search for the Most Massive Galaxies: Double Trouble?." The Astronomical Journal 131 (4): 2018-2034 [10.1086/499770] [Journal Article/Letter]

2005. "Detection of the Baryon Acoustic Peak in the Large‐Scale Correlation Function of SDSS Luminous Red Galaxies." The Astrophysical Journal 633 (2): 560-574 [10.1086/466512] [Journal Article/Letter]

2002. "The Sloan Digital Sky Survey 1-Dimensional Spectroscopic Pipeline." Astronomical Data Analysis II [10.1117/12.461108] [Proceedings]

Talks, Presentations and Posters


Gordon Research Conference: Visualizing Complex Systems

August 18, 2023

Creating Visualizations for NASA's Earth Information Center

2022 SOS Users Collaborative Network Workshop

Visualization for Science Engagement and Storytelling

September 30, 2022

SOS workshop Agenda

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Northwestern University

How NASA and Northwestern Scientists Are Revealing Cosmic Mysteries with the James Web Space Telescope

September 23, 2022


Astrovisualization — The role of images in Astronomy & Space sciences

Astrovisualization at NASA

July 2, 2022

Norrköping, Sweden

Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society

NASA Climate Science Visualizations and other resources from The Scientific Visualization Studio

June 19, 2022

Orano, ME, USA

LASER Boston: Climate Visions

Making NASA Climate Science Visual

May 28, 2022


Boston University Space Physics Seminar Series

Visualization Driven Science Communication

May 29, 2021

Talk Flyer

Goddard Space Flight Center Information Science and Technology Colloquium

Data Visualization for Science Communication

March 17, 2021


Co-Creating Climate Futures

August 14, 2023

Organizer of a two-day pre workshop at MIT preceeding the 2023 GRC Visualization in Science and Education Conference


NASA Combines Art & Science to Connect

April 14, 2023

Panel discussion with Michael Lentz, Walt Feimer and Thalia Patrinos

AGU 2023 Union Session: Data Visualization as a Communication Tool in Earth and Space Science

12, 2022

Co-convener of session and presenter: High Impact Techniques for Visual Science Communication

IEEEVis 2023 Workshop: Viz4Climate - Workshop on High-Impact Techniques for Visual Climate Science Communication

November 17, 2022

Selected Public Outreach

Space Café Podcast Michael Lentz & Mark SubbaRao - NASA's Creative Wizards, Space Storytelling, and the Art of Communicating Science

May 2023 - Present

In this episode, join Michael Lentz, the Art Director for the Conceptual Image Lab at NASA, and Mark SubbaRao, the lead at NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, as they delve into the art of communicating science and space storytelling. Learn how visualization plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between science and the general public and discover the potential of art and technology to inspire and educate people about space.

AGU Third Pod From The Sun Podcast:35-Spaceship Earth: The (visual) beauty of science

February 2023 - Present

As the Scientific Visualization lead for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Mark SubbaRao oversees the translation of NASA science into images and movies. For Mark, science visualization is a key communication tool that allows the public to interact and explore the various scientific discoveries happening at NASA and beyond. He sits down with us and talks about his beginnings as an astronomer, his “Data to Dome” approach to experiential science through his work with planetariums, and the role of visualization and the performance of communication in the future of science comprehension.

This episode was produced by Jason Rodriguez and Shane M Hanlon, and mixed by Collin Warren. Artwork by Karen Romano Young. Interview conducted by Ashely Hamer.

Grand Universe Podcast: Visualizing Scientific Data

May 2023 - Present

Join us as we talk with Dr. Mark Subbarao, Director of the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center.