[ 2013 ] VOL [ 30 ] ISSUE [ 01 ]
Hubble Boldly Goes: The Frontier Fields Program <em>Hubble</em> Boldly Goes: The Frontier Fields Program

By capitalizing on the lensing capabilities of the clusters to probe redshifts beyond z ~ 10, the HFF program will observe 4–6 strongly lensing galaxy clusters and, in parallel, adjacent “blank” fields with the aim of detecting and characterizing high-redshift galaxies. Together, these measurements will enable Hubble to provide a preliminary peek at the distant universe accessible to Webb. (J. Lotz, I. N. Reid, & K. Sembach)

The Evolution of the Hubble TAC Process The Evolution of the <em>Hubble</em> TAC Process

The evolution of the proposal process does not occur in a vacuum.  This article gives a brief historical overview, with the aim of describing how the process has changed and giving the context for those changes. We will continue to monitor and adapt the process in future cycles as science itself continues to evolve.  (I. N. Reid)

Hubble and Solar System Science <em>Hubble</em> and Solar System Science

Solar System astronomy has been a key part of Hubble’s scientific program over the past 20 cycles.  Combining all proposal types, Solar System proposals account for 9% of the submitted proposals (GO, SNAP, archival, and theory) and 9% of the accepted proposals since Cycle 5. Thirteen percent of DDT allocated since Cycle 1 has been devoted to observations of Solar System objects.  We will issue a formal call in the near future for community input on optimal approaches to support Solar System research with Hubble.  (I. N. Reid)

Moving On Up—A New Lifetime Position for COS FUV Spectra Moving On Up—A New Lifetime Position for COS FUV Spectra

After three years of on-orbit operations, the default location of science spectra taken with the COS FUV channel was shifted upward by about 3.5” on the detector, in a direction orthogonal to the dispersion direction. In this article, we describe the activities that occurred to enable and calibrate this new position. (R. A. Osten et al.)

The Unique Coronagraphic Capabilities of STIS: Direct Imaging The Unique Coronagraphic Capabilities of STIS: Direct Imaging

Since its repair during SM4, STIS has broken new ground in imaging capabilities. Two of these are particularly noteworthy: imaging with exquisite contrast—about 300 parts per million at apparent separations as small as 0.4” and about one part per million at 1”—and coronagraphic spectroscopy over visible wavelengths at similar contrasts.  In this article, we discuss the general strategies for coronagraphic imaging, and describe a Hubble program that has made use of these techniques.  (J. Debes, M. Perrin, & G. Schneider)

Enhancing the Legacy of Hubble Spectroscopy Enhancing the Legacy of <em>Hubble</em> Spectroscopy

To advance the scientific benefits of Hubble’s spectroscopic capabilities, the Institute organized and hosted a workshop in November 2012. The goal of the workshop was to explore ways to optimize the impact of Hubble spectroscopy on current and future research, including both direct and archival investigations.  A working group was organized to look into some of the higher-priority items mentioned. (A. Aloisi & S. Casertano)

Hubble Constant: Building a Better Distance Ladder Hubble Constant: Building a Better Distance Ladder

After decades of research, precision tuning of distance indicators has narrowed the mean error considerably.  With luck, persistence, and the use of more capable instruments—culminating with the extended reach of Webb—the new distance ladder will be a powerful tool.   (A. Riess)

Notes from the WFC3 Team Notes from the WFC3 Team

The WFC3 continues to operate nominally and produce lots of science. The total number of in-flight exposures passed 100,000 on April 23, 2013. News from WFC3 includes the increasing use of spatial scans, enabling previously impossible classes of observations. These include: recording the transits of exoplanets, precision photometry of very bright sources, relative astrometry with precision approaching 30 micro-arcseconds, and efficient validation and improvement of flat-field calibrations. (J. W. MacKenty)

New Window into Planet Formation with Webb’s MIRI New Window into Planet Formation with <em>Webb</em>‘s MIRI

With its exquisite sensitivity, high angular resolution, and moderate spectral resolution, the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) on the James Webb Space Telescope will open new windows into many facets of the universe, including the processes by which planetary systems form and evolve.  (C. Chen & K. Pontoppidan)

New MESA Group Has a Systems Perspective New MESA Group Has a Systems Perspective

As preparations for Webb ramped up, the Webb Instrument Team split into separate instrument groups. At the same time, a new Mission Engineering and Science Analysis group was created to maintain lines of communications across instruments and even across missions. (J. Valenti)

Webb and the Solar System <em>Webb</em> and the Solar System

The James Webb Space Telescope will peer into the depths of space and back in time to reveal the earliest epochs of our universe, but it also will look at the Solar System for clues to how planets form and evolve with time. Webb possesses a unique set of capabilities for observing a wide variety of objects in the Solar System. (J. I. Lunine)

A New Frontier: Observations of Exoplanet Atmospheres with the James Webb Space Telescope A New Frontier: Observations of Exoplanet Atmospheres with the <em>James Webb Space Telescope</em>

With its large aperture and infrared spectroscopic capability, Webb will open opportunities to study planets as small as terrestrial size (transiting small stars), taking us far beyond current studies of exoplanet atmospheres. Webb will access a wide variety of exoplanets, from self-luminous young planets to transiting planets of all sizes.  (S. Seager)

Webb @ SXSW <em>Webb</em> @ SXSW

We launched a new project, bringing Webb—literally—to where tens of thousands of people would gather: South by Southwest (SXSW)—an annual festival in Austin, Texas.  The interactive portion of SXSW is a proven technology magnet, and our proposal to SXSW Interactive was a collaboration of our Webb outreach partners, the astronomy department of the University of Texas at Austin, and Microsoft Research’s WorldWide Telescope. (A. Conti & J. Kalirai)

Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes

The Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes is NASA’s data repository for astronomy missions in the ultraviolet–optical wavelength range, including both active and legacy missions. MAST supports the astronomical community by facilitating access to its collections, offering expert user support, and providing software for calibration and analysis. (A. Koekemoer, for the MAST team)

The Andromeda Project The Andromeda Project

The Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury survey team's path to addressing their scientific questions seemed to include many months of visual identification and confirmation of cluster candidates when more timely results were desired.  Who do you turn to?  You collaborate with the Zooniverse to create a "citizen science" team, and get amazing results! (A. Seth & C. Johnson)

Hubble Fellowship News Hubble Fellowship News

The Hubble Fellowship Program awards postdoctoral fellowships to candidates of exceptional research promise in astronomy and astrophysics. Now in its 23rd year, its recipients can now be found among the ranks of the faculty at college and university campuses and the professional staff of research institutions across the nation and beyond.  The 23rd annual Hubble Fellows Symposium was held on March 4–6, 2013. (R. J. Allen)

Lighthouses of—and in—the Sky Lighthouses of—and in—the Sky

What U. S. politician most passionately promoted astronomy? The answer must be John Quincy Adams.  (R. A. Brown)