I AM A Robert Nemiroff from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) website and a Professor of Astrophysics at Michigan Tech. Ask Me Anything.
I was one of the two Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD) creators in 1995 and remain one of (same) two editors who pick all of the APOD images and write all of the APOD texts. I am also a Professor in the Physics Dept. at Michigan Tech. who does research into various aspects of our universe. APOD is one of the more popular science sites on the web, typically receiving over one million page views each day. Log files show that, typically, every major university accesses APOD every day.
I have also been putting some of my courses online for free since 2006. For example my Introductory Astronomy course is available over the web and YouTube and iTunes. This class uses APOD and Wikipedia in place of a potentially costly textbook. More recently I have put the class "Extraordinary Concepts in Physics" freely on the web, YouTube, and iTunes, where also no textbook is required.
In terms of research, two projects I am currently working on include using data from gamma-ray bursts to tell us about the intervening universe, and trying to turn common smartphones into astronomically useful sky monitors. We can actually use some savvy programming help on the smartphone sky monitor project, so if you would like to volunteer please send an email to my graduate student.([email protected])
Please note that in this IAMA, I am not representing NASA or Michigan Tech -- just myself!