NASA Telescopes Find Clear Skies and Water Vapor on Exo-Neptune
The weather forecast for a planet 120 light-years from Earth is clear skies and
steamy water vapor. Finding clear skies on a gaseous world the size of Neptune
is a good sign that even smaller, Earth-size planets might have similarly good
visibility. This would allow earthbound astronomers to measure the underlying
atmospheric composition of an exoplanet. Astronomers using the Hubble, Spitzer,
and Kepler space telescopes were able to determine that the planet, cataloged
HAT-P-11b, has water vapor in its atmosphere. The world is definitely steamy
with temperatures over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The planet is so hot because
it orbits so close to its star, completing one orbit every five days.
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Cycle 22 Call for Proposals
NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute released the Cycle 22 Call for Proposals for Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Observations and funding for Archival Research and Theoretical Research programs on January 6, 2014.
Participation in this program is open to all categories of organizations, both domestic and foreign, including educational institutions, profit and nonprofit organizations, NASA Centers, and other Government agencies.
This solicitation for proposals will be open through April 11, 2014 8:00pm EDT.
The Astronomer's Proposal Tool (APT), which is required for Phase I proposal submission, was released for Cycle 22 Phase I use on February 12.
Proposal selection results will be announced by the end of June 2014. For more information please see the Cycle 22 Announcement Page.
Science With the Hubble Space Telescope IV
The conference on "Science With the Hubble Space Telescope IV: Looking to the Future" will be held at the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome, Italy, on March 17-20, 2014. This conference is designed to highlight the scientific breakthroughs made by HST in its two decade life.
For more information please see the conference web page.
HST Frontier Fields
Using Director's Discretionary (DD) observing time, HST is undertaking a revolutionary deep field observing program to peer deeper into the Universe than ever before and provide a first glimpse of JWST's universe.
These Frontier Fields will combine the power of HST with the natural gravitational telescopes of high-magnification clusters of galaxies. Using both the Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys in parallel,
HST will produce the deepest observations of clusters and their lensed galaxies ever obtained, and the second-deepest observations of blank fields (located near the clusters).
These images will reveal distant galaxy populations ~10 - 100 times fainter than any previously observed, improve our statistical understanding of galaxies during the epoch of reionization, and provide unprecedented measurements of the dark matter within massive clusters.
Observations for the first epoch of Abell 2744 have been completed in October through December 2013, and for the first epoch of MACSJ0416.1-2403 in January and February 2014. For data releases, please see the MAST Frontier Fields website.
The Frontier Fields public lensing models have been released and are available on the MAST Frontier Fields Lensing Model website. This website includes interactive tools for examining the lensing maps and obtaining magnifications and uncertainties from a variety of models, given a position and redshift.
For more information about the survey, please see the Frontier Fields website.
Exposure Time Calculators
The ETCs are web-based applications that assist Hubble users in preparing Phase I and Phase II observing proposals. The ETCs calculate exposure times or SNRs for simulated astronomical observations using any of HST's primary instruments:
ACS | COS | STIS | WFC3
Hubble Legacy Archive
The Hubble Legacy Archive (HLA) is designed to optimize science from HST by providing online, enhanced Hubble products and advanced browsing capabilities.