During June, 2016, led by the Cycle 24 TAC chair, Prof. Catherine Pilachowski, more than 150 panelists and TAC members reviewed the 1,094 Cycle 24 proposals. Follow the process from beginning to end, culminating in the list of accepted proposals. (A. Moro-Martín, B. Blacker, and the Science Policy Group Team)

 

Astronomers routinely work with data spread out over catalogs, images, spectra, spectral cubes, and more complex datasets, and being able to effectively visualize and explore these data all together is crucial to enabling discoveries. To address this challenge, we have developed a new open-source python package named glue that allows scientists to visualize many different types of data, and explore relationships within and across related datasets. (T. Robitaille)

 

DASH is a way to circumvent the limitations imposed by guide star acquisitions. If new guide stars are not acquired between pointings, it is possible to fit a larger number of distinct pointings in a single orbit. This way, the WFC3/IR can cover an area as wide as 1 deg2 in just 100 orbits, much faster and less costly than previously possible. (I. Momcheva)

 

A widely used feature of MAST is our collection of HLSPs, which include science-ready, fully reduced, publication-quality products. Data is available on planets, stars, ISM, galaxies, AGN, clusters, and many other types of objects, across a wide range of wavelengths. The products include full-depth mosaics from large surveys, photometric catalogs, image and spectral atlases, time series lightcurves, spectral linelists, and model simulations, and include interactive display tools in many cases. The HLSPs at MAST are ideal for jumpstarting new science. (A. M. Koekemoer, and the STScI Archive Team at MAST)

 

Dr. Kenneth R. Sembach, Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, recently announced the appointment of appointment of Dr. Nancy Levenson to the position of STScI Deputy Director. Dr. Levenson is currently the Deputy Director and Head of Science of the Gemini Observatory. She provides leadership for Gemini South operations in Chile and has extensive knowledge of the technical, business, management, and public relations involved in running a major astronomical facility. She will arrive at the Institute in early November. (A. Jenkins)

 

Dr. Kenneth R. Sembach, Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, recently announced the appointment of Dr. Thomas M. Brown to STScI Hubble Space Telescope Mission Head. Dr. Brown has a long, in-depth history with both Hubble and Webb, working with teams throughout the Institute and with the Institute's partners on the development of Webb's operations and science support. (A. Jenkins)

We are pleased to announce that the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) Newsletter has migrated to a completely electronic form. There are many significant advantages in an all-electronic newsletter—for example, we can publish articles incrementally to produce more timely information. Accordingly, we will release each issue at roughly monthly intervals—a few articles at a time. (C. Christian and A. Jenkins)

 

Hubble Frontier Fields (HFF) is a Director's Discretionary Time campaign designed to probe as deep as is feasible with the Hubble Space Telescope. The final Abell 370 visit of the HFF program executed successfully on September 11, 2016, around 6 p.m. local (Eastern Standard) time. The data arrived safely onto disks at the Institute and processing and calibration began immediately. (C. Christian and the Frontier Fields Team)

 

Vol 33 • Issue 3


All users of Webb will need to craft proposals that describe their desired observations in sufficient detail to permit the ultimate scheduling of the observations once the proposals are accepted. Users of Hubble will be familiar with APT, and a branch of APT to support Webb observers is well along in development. In addition, there are other tools that are being developed to assist proposers in their observing requests. Here is a brief outline of the tools we expect to provide before the release of the first call for proposals in 2017. (B. Blair)

As Webb's Science and Operations Center, the Institute is responsible for helping to educate the scientific community about observatory performance and operations, as well as calibration plans and assisting the community in designing and implementing scientific programs. Webb's success is dependent on the scientific community's ability to effectively plan and execute observations. The Institute is offering a combination of live on-line webinars and in-person workshops during the period leading up to the GO Cycle 1 proposal deadline. (C. H. Chen)

To realize Webb’s full science potential, the scientific community must rapidly learn to use its sophisticated capabilities. To accelerate the process of discovery by the community and maximize the science productivity of the mission, the Institute, in consultation with the JWST Advisory Committee (JSTAC), has developed the DD-ERS program. (J. Lee)

Your frequently asked questions about the DD-ERS answered here. (J. C. Lee & I. N. Reid)

Webb offers a broad range of observing modes covering a wide wavelength range from the optical to the mid-infrared (0.6 to 28.5 microns), offering unprecedented photometric and spectroscopic performance to enable a broad range of astronomical science. The four Webb science instruments (NIRISS, NIRCam, NIRSpec, and MIRI) offer complimentary capabilities including multiple imaging and spectroscopic modes. (N. Lewis)

For Webb, a single-stream process for proposal submission has been adopted because maximizing the scientific return from the telescope requires that the community have the ability to utilize it as efficiently as possible. One step in that process is minimizing the time between proposal deadlines and the start of an observing cycle. This optimizes the amount of Webb data available at the time when the subsequent round of proposals is written, thus guiding new Webb observations. (A. Moro-Martín)

Webb's launch may still be two years distant, but the first opportunities to propose observing programs will arrive much sooner. The Institute is developing on-line resources and collaborating with other institutions to organize a comprehensive set of workshops and dedicated sessions at larger meetings, including the summer and winter AAS meetings, focused on providing the community with training to support proposal preparation and submission. (I. N. Reid & J. C. Lee)

An overview of the JSTAC's activities and recommendations over the seven years since the JSTAC was formed was in the 2016, Volume 33, Issue 1 of the STScI Newsletter. A core aspect of its charge has guided the JSTAC's deliberations: advising the STScI Director on "maximizing JWST's scientific productivity" during its operational life. While the goal is clear, the issues that JSTAC has wrestled with during its twice-yearly meetings in pursuit of this goal have been numerous and complex. (G. Illingworth)

Vol. 33 Issue 4


The Origins Space Telescope Mission Study

The Origins Space Telescope is an evolving concept for the Far-Infrared Surveyor mission, and the subject of one of the four science and technology definition studies supported by NASA Headquarters to prepare for the 2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey. The Origins Space Telescope will discover or characterize exoplanets, the most distant galaxies, nearby galaxies and the Milky Way, and the outer reaches of our solar system (Figure 1). In this article, we expand on some key science drivers identified by the team, describe the status of our study, and solicit your science and technology ideas and input to our process.