sci14007 — Announcement

Podcasts not posters: How to get your results into a Hubblecast

16 May 2014

At ESA/Hubble we do not only write press releases and process astronomical images for circulation. We also develop award-winning visuals, from artists’ impressions, animations, and illustrations, to our video podcast: the Hubblecast.

What exactly is a Hubblecast?

Hubblecasts are short videos lasting less than ten minutes that present Hubble research to a public audience in a more visual way. Key to every Hubblecast is a good story, some striking visuals produced by our team and an accessible insight into the science. For this we look for research that lends itself to telling an interesting story, has potential for high quality visuals and which will captivate a public audience.

We produce ten episodes of the Hubblecast per year and we choose the subject matter by evaluating papers for their Hubblecast potential whilst developing press releases for them.

Professional voice artist and presenter Sara Mendes da Costa provides narration for these videos, and on-screen presentation is filmed with Dr J, aka Dr Joe Liske, an astronomer at the European Southern Observatory. Editing, visuals, and support comes from members of the outreach teams at the European Southern Observatory and ESA/Hubble — full details can be found accompanying each episode.

Why communicate your research through a Hubblecast?

Using various types of media in one package leads to incredibly comprehensive and inspiring press releases, see Hubblecast 71: Visible echoes around RS Puppis, Hubblecast 58: Caught in the cosmic web, Hubblecast 56: Dramatic change spotted on a faraway planet and associated press releases for examples.

The Hubblecast provides a unique opportunity to present your science in a different way and reach tens of thousands of individuals across the globe. The Hubblecasts are currently #1 in both the “Science and Medicine” and “Natural Sciences” iTunes categories in the US, and have been at #1 for “Natural Sciences” in the UK for 19 weeks in a row.

The podcast series has not gone unnoticed. Most recently, just last year the Hubblecast was awarded a Parsec Award for best "Fact Behind the Fiction" podcast series. An international panel of judges considered the Hubblecast to best portray the facts — including the science, history, culture, and mythology — that influence and inspire fiction podcasting. The Hubblecast was also highly commended in the 2011 MEDEA awards, a European competition that recognises innovation and good practice in the use of media in education.

Additionally, all of our material is public domain, meaning that you are free to personally use and distribute any visuals we produce (in accordance with our usage policy). Previous researchers have used our work in lecture courses, presentations, on personal websites, and more.

How to get your research into a Hubblecast

If you are interested in how video podcasts could work for you and your research, please do get in touch with us the next time you submit a paper to a journal for publication. By working with you we can put together a press release and podcast that you, your colleagues, and our outreach office can be proud of and which will engagingly communicate your work with the public.

It is important to note that as the scientist behind the results you will be involved in the process and, as with press releases, will have the opportunity to approve the Hubblecast script and the final product to ensure it represents the results in a way you are happy with.

To get in touch with the ESA/Hubble outreach team, please contact, or email me directly at


Georgia Bladon
ESA/Hubble Public Information Officer

About the Announcement



The Hubblecast wins a Parsec Award
The Hubblecast wins a Parsec Award

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