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Dr. Roeland van der Marel Appointed as STScI Lead on Proposed "Wide View" Space Telescope

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, has appointed Dr. Roeland van der Marel to lead its work on a proposed NASA space telescope that will provide images as sharp as the Hubble Space Telescope, but over a hundred times larger area. The space observatory, called the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope-Astrophysics Focused Telescope Assets (WFIRST-AFTA), is being studied for launch in the mid-2020s, pending program approval by NASA. The telescope will be used to probe the distribution of dark matter and the characteristics of dark energy, measure the abundance and characteristics of planets orbiting other stars, and will provide observations and surveys to study many other astrophysical subjects. STScI is presently the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and the science and mission operations center for the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2018. Van der Marel joined the STScI staff in 1997. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He is an expert on black holes and the structure of galaxies.

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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.

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