STScI News Media Telecon/Webcast Explores Hubble's Science Legacy

Press Release From: Space Telescope Science Institute
Posted: Tuesday, April 14, 2015


With an eye towards the future, the Space Telescope Science Institute is celebrating the extraordinary impact that the Hubble Space Telescope has had on science, culture, and society in a science symposium April 20-23.

Because of its versatility, Hubble has made seminal contributions to almost every branch of astronomy. STScI is hosting a news media telecon on Mon., April 20, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT (16:30 to 18:00 UTC) with speakers from the symposium. The speakers will discuss select scientific topics where Hubble has made breakthroughs from the studies of our own solar system, to the detailed observations of extrasolar planets, to the deepest views of the distant universe. Presenters will also look at the anticipated overlap between Hubble and the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, and Hubble’s contribution to the next generation of large optical/ultraviolet telescopes in space.

To join the telecon, reporters should contact Cheryl Gundy ( or Ray Villard ( to receive the toll-free call-in number and passcode. A live webcast of the workshop can be viewed at

12:30 to 1:30 p.m. EDT, April 20, 2015

Hubble: Flagship of the Great Observatories:
Astronaut space shuttle servicing missions are the key to Hubble’s longevity and high science productivity. In particular, SM4 upgraded Hubble to its present peak performance and promises a robust science program for the space telescope past 2020.
-- Amber Straughn, NASA/GSFC

Overview: Hubble’s Top Science Accomplishments:
Hubble’s basic design allowed scientists to address key astronomical questions, but in the process, many more questions popped up. Some of Hubble’s accomplishments were not simply discovering new things. Hubble gave astronomers much more solid observational evidence for a range of celestial phenomena that were not previously well understood.
-- Ken Sembach, STScI

Hubble’s Solar System Exploration:
Hubble has complemented the NASA planetary missions doing ongoing surveillance of the solar system. Hubble has reconnoitered the Pluto system in support of New Horizons, followed weather on the outer planets, and offered new clues to chances for life on icy moons.
-- Amy Simon, NASA/GSFC

Looking for Earth II:
Hubble has opened up a whole new field of research in characterizing exoplanets according to atmospheric composition, water abundance, and weather.
-- Jacob Bean, U. of Chicago

The Undiscovered Country -- Hubble Traces Cosmic Evolution
The Hubble deep surveys have assembled a comprehensive view of the evolution of galaxies and stars since just a few hundred million years after the big bang.
Jennifer Lotz, STScI

Beyond Hubble:
Hubble is robust enough to operate into the 2020s. A “wide-field” Hubble, Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), will follow it. The James Webb Space Telescope will extend Hubble’s research to higher redshifts in the infrared, and carry on exoplanet characterization.
--Jason Kalirai, STScI

Cheryl Gundy / Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
+1 410-338-4707 / +1 410-338-4514 /

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, in Washington, D.C.

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