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STScI at the AAS 232: June 2018, Denver, CO

A. Lockwood, alockwood [at] stsci.edu, B. Lawton, lawton [at] stsci.edu

STScI town hall

For the first time at AAS, STScI will host its own town hall to introduce several services that the Institute provides to the astronomical community, including the science operations of the Hubble, Webb, and WFIRST missions. The program will feature a presentation on new science opportunities with Hubble, new advances in archival and data science capabilities at the Institute, the status of open development of community software, and a discussion with the community about the status and science program of WFIRST. Time will be reserved for community discussion and questions.

Preparing for Webb science: Meeting-in-a-meeting

The Director's Discretionary Early Release Science (DD-ERS) program was designed to educate and inform the community regarding Webb's capabilities. The 13 selected programs, announced in November 2017, represent a wide variety of science cases, including Distant Galaxies and Cosmic Dawn, Nearby and Resolved Galaxies, Astrochemistry and the ISM, and Planets. The selected DD-ERS teams have already gotten to work on products to fulfill the mission of the DD-ERS and want to engage the scientific community in conversations about the planned observations and the science-enabling products through four 90-minute topical sessions. In each session, DD-ERS program team members will give an overview presentation followed by a community dialogue to get feedback on products to enable early science and further engage the community. Sessions on June 5 will also include Webb status updates from Institute and NASA officials.

Workshops, Events, and Sessions:

Format & Location Title & Description Date & Time

Press Conference


Director's Row Ⅰ

Press Releases

New research advancements shared daily at live press conferences from the AAS Meeting.

June 4–7


11:00 a.m. & 3:00 p.m.

Plenary Talk


Plaza Ballroom E

Small Interstellar Molecules and What They Tell Us

David Neufeld from Johns Hopkins University will give the LAD Plenary Talk on molecular cosmochemistry.

Tuesday, June 5


8:30 a.m.



Governor's Square 11

Preparing for JWST Science with the Early Release Science Programs

In this session, Director's Discretionary Early Release Science (DD-ERS) program team members will give an overview of their planned observations and host a discussion with the community on the science-enabling products they are developing. We will also update the community on the status of JWST.

June 5 & June 6


10:30 a.m.– 12:10 p.m. &

2:50 p.m.– 4:20 p.m.

Special Session


Governor's Square 16

Astrophysics Archives in the 2020s

The original Hubble Space Telescope archive showed how encapsulating expertise in science-ready data products could accelerate the pace of scientific advancement and enable extremely productive archival research. In the 2020s we will see an explosion of data volume, data precision, and data complexity which will demand an even more powerful and sophisticated expertise engine. We’ll discuss how MAST plans to rise to meet that challenge.

Tuesday, June 5


2:50 p.m.

Town Hall


Plaza Ballroom E

STScI Town Hall

STScI will address the astronomical community with updates to Hubble science opportunities, the status of the WFIRST science program, and new data sets and capabilities of the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes. Speakers include Ken Sembach, Karoline Gilbert, Rachel Osten, Arfon Smith, and Erik Tollerud from the Institute.

Wednesday, June 6


1:40 p.m.

Exhibit booth

Institute staff representing the Hubble, Webb, and WFIRST missions will be available at the Institute's booth to provide information on new developments and updated status of these missions, and also to describe our upcoming initiatives for user community support. Stop by the MAST table to learn how to use the Portal to find, analyze, and retrieve your data. Learn how to search for the newly added Webb planned proposals and find out about other new features and services available for data retrieval, like the MAST API.

Our interactive area this year will feature daily sessions of augmented reality, virtual reality, and touchscreen demonstrations. Come visualize the three observatories with augmented reality or use virtual reality to explore a protoplanetary disk or throw stars into a black hole. There will also be mission demonstrations of support tools for proposing and observing with Hubble and Webb.

Looking to get involved, share your science, and enable science learning? Come find out ways in which you can become involved in the "NASA's Universe of Learning" and help us engage audiences of all ages from across the US.