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High-resolution Space Telescope Proper Motion Collaboration (HSTPROMO)

HSTPROMO group logo
Collaboration logo, illustrating how a space telescope (Hubble, in this case) observers the motions of stars on the sky (Credit: Elena Montuschi) 

The HSTPROMO collaboration consists of astronomers and postdocs at STScI and other institutions. We perform research projects with various high-resolution space telescopes (Hubble, Gaia, Webb) aimed at improving our dynamical understanding of stars, clusters, and galaxies in the nearby Universe through measurement and interpretation of their proper motions. Key research questions include:

  • How can we accurately measure the positions of stars using telescopes in space?
  • What do such observations tell us about the proper motions of stars in the stellar clusters, streams, and galaxies of the Local Group?
  • How do the proper motions of distinct stellar populations differ, and why?
  • How does dynamical modeling of the observed motions constrain the mass distribution and gravitational influence of dark matter or central black holes?
  • What does all this teach us about the formation and evolution of globular clusters, dwarf, and disk galaxies?

Individual projects are pursued by traditional teams consisting of a Principal Investigator (PI)/Lead Author and select Co-Investigators (CoIs)/Co-authors. HSTPROMO adds coherence to the overall effort, and provides a framework for sharing of techniques, expertise, models, and insights.


Leads: Roeland van der Marel, Jay Anderson, Andrea Bellini, Tony Sohn, Laura Watkins

Research Topics:

  • Proper Motions
  • Astrometry
  • Resolved Stellar Populations
  • Stellar Kinematics
  • Globular Clusters
  • Local Group Galaxies
  • Galactic Dynamics
  • Galaxy Formation and Evolution
  • Dynamical Modeling
  • Dark Matter

Related Missions & Instruments: HST, Gaia, JWST

Related Programs: JWST Telescope Scientist Team

Selected Publications: