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Hubble Witnesses Massive Comet-Like Object Pollute Atmosphere of a White Dwarf

Astronomers have found the best evidence yet of the remains of a comet-like object scattered around a burned-out star. They used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to detect the debris, which has polluted the atmosphere of a compact star known as a white dwarf. The icy object, which has been ripped apart, is similar to Halley's Comet in chemical composition, but it is 100,000 times more massive and has a much higher amount of water. It is also rich in the elements essential for life, including nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, and sulfur. These findings are evidence for a belt of comet-like bodies similar to our solar system's Kuiper Belt orbiting the white dwarf. This is the first evidence of comet-like material polluting a white dwarf's atmosphere. The results also suggest the presence of unseen, surviving planets around the burned-out star.

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Announcement Notice

NASA and The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) are pleased to announce the Cycle 25 Call for Proposals for Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Observations and funding for Archival Research and Theoretical Research programs. 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.

Cycle 25 will extend from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018. We will accept proposals for the following instruments: ACS, COS, FGS, STIS, and WFC3.

This solicitation for proposals will be open through April 07, 2017 8:00pm EDT. The Astronomer's Proposal Tools (APT), which is required for Phase I Proposal Submission will be made available/released for Cycle 25 Phase I use during the last week of January 2017. Results of the selection will be announced by the end of June 2017.

Please see the Cycle 25 Announcement page for detailed information.

Mid-Cycle Proposals

NASA and Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) are pleased to announce a new opportunity to apply for observations with the Hubble Space Telescope. Mid-cycle proposals aim to allow the community to follow up on discoveries made since the Cycle 23 proposal deadline. 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. Proposals are limited to no more than 5 orbits. Full details are given at this link.

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.

Data releases of the already observed clusters are available at 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.

Frontier Fields Lensing Map Call for Proposals

Frontier Fields CP document

We are soliciting gravitational lensing maps for the last four Hubble Frontier Fields clusters (MACSJ0717.5+3745, MACSJ1149.5+2223, AbellS1063, and Abell 370) based upon the exceptionally deep HST FF imaging and other new ancillary data. Previously unsupported teams may also apply to create gravitational lensing maps for Hubble Frontier Fields clusters Abell 2744 and MACSJ0416.1- 2403 if those teams provide a substantially different model set from existing models.

For the full set of proposal instructions and requirements, see the FY16 Frontier Fields Lensing Map Call for Proposals. All proposals are due 5:00PM EST, February 4, 2016. Proposals may be submitted electronically to Cheryl Schmidt in the STScI HST Mission Office. Questions about this request for proposals or the HST Frontier Fields should be sent to Dr. Helmut Jenkner.

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