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March 23, 2023

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STScI Directors have access to up to 10% of the observing time on the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes. Starting with Bob Williams’ Hubble Deep Field, Directors have chosen to use the bulk of that time for investment in large, community projects, most recently the Frontier Fields and ULLYSES. The Interim STScI Director, Nancy Levenson, has decided to follow that tradition and is convening two community working groups to explore strategic priorities for exoplanet research and long-term time domain astronomy. Those working groups are charged with synthesizing input and suggestions from the broader community to identify science priorities, and to specify key objectives that can be addressed through large-scale Director’s Discretionary programs with JWST. More details on these initiatives can be found on the pages linked below:

The membership for the exoplanet working group has been set, but the members for the long-term time domain working group are still being recruited.

The working groups will have their initial exploratory meetings in the spring. They will each develop a request for input that will be circulated to the community in late spring. That information will be collected over the summer. Using that input, the working groups will work on producing their final reports and recommendations by early next year. Based on their recommendations, the Director will constitute internal STScI teams to work with the community to implement the final programs, including refining target selection and observing parameters.

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The NASA James Webb Space Telescope, developed in partnership with ESA and CSA, is operated by AURA’s Space Telescope Science Institute.