sci14013 — Announcement
Hubble 2020 symposium
3 December 2014
On 20–23 April 2015 STScI will hold its spring symposium, with this year’s title being Hubble 2020: Building on 25 years of Discovery.
Typically, STScI holds a major scientific symposium every May, on a broad variety of topics that are of high relevance to the scientific community. In 2015, the symposium will be dedicated to the Hubble Space Telescope, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the launch of this extraordinary mission.
The Science Organising Committee (SOC), co-chaired by myself and Lou Strolger, with Mario Livio, had an interesting time discussing the scope and goals of such a symposium. Should it be a historical retrospective, showcasing the long list of amazing breakthroughs that Hubble has achieved? Or should it be a forward-looking event, pondering what other necessary science Hubble could, and should, do in the next five years?
In the end, the consensus was that the symposium should look to the future, and celebrate the extraordinary impact that the Hubble Space Telescope has had on science, culture, and society by defining Hubble's scientific legacy through to 2020.
The next five years hold huge potential for the space community. We will see the scientific overlap between Hubble and the James Webb Space Telescope, the GAIA catalogue will be available for science, preparations will step up for the launch of Euclid and the WFIRST/AFTA telescope, and scientists will start planning for the next generation of large optical/ultraviolet/infrared telescopes in space.
With this context in mind, we want to involve the astronomical community in crafting the next five years of Hubble’s legacy. To this purpose, the SOC thought it very appropriate to showcase the young researchers who are now playing a big role in obtaining time on Hubble and producing great results. They will be the ones using this telescope in the future, and the symposium will be an opportunity to hear their vision for how to utilise this telescope in the next five years.
Finally, for the history aficionados, there will be some historical perspective as well. As the symposium wraps up on the 23 April, after three and a half days of intense scientific presentations and discussions, there will be a very special event, to which all symposium participants are invited. This event will include the 25th Anniversary Bahcall Lecture by Professor Robert Kirshner (Harvard) and will involve individuals who have played a major role in the design, construction and launch of Hubble, including astronomers and engineers, STScI Directors, NASA and ESA representatives and astronauts. They will all be asked to consider the question "What did it take to launch such a telescope?" and in response we hope to hear of their challenges, and their successes.
My very short answer to what it took to launch this telescope is hard work and dedication from a large multitude of committed people in Europe and in the US. These are the people we wish to pay tribute to with this celebration. We look forward to seeing you there!
For further information, see: http://www.stsci.edu/institute/conference/hubble25/
ESA HST Project Scientist, STScI
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