sci16001 — Announcement
Your voice on Hubble: the Space Telescope Users Committee
9 March 2016
Since its launch, the Hubble Space Telescope has enjoyed a close relationship with its community of users through a variety of mechanisms: newsletters, surveys, ad-hoc working groups. In this context, the Space Telescope User Committee (STUC), continues to provide sound advice on Hubble science operations and observing policies.
Having celebrated the Hubble 25th anniversary last year, we also understand that, from time to time, a short refresher is needed on what the STUC role is and why you, the user, should care.
The STUC has a membership of approximately twelve scientists. Typically, members are appointed for a three-year term. At least two of the twelve members are astronomers from ESA member states and are jointly appointed with ESA. Currently three members on the STUC are appointed by ESA.
The scope of the STUC is quite broad: they can set their own agenda and if necessary can establish an ad-hoc subcommittee structure to perform in-depth studies of relevant subjects. The committee will be assured of reasonable support from Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) staff for information and clarification. STUC deliberations consist of written reports which are published on the STScI STUC pages.
For example, at their last meeting in November 2015, STUC members made a number of recommendations, including adding an opportunity for very large proposals (>500 orbits) in the current proposal structure, creating an opportunity for preparatory science for JWST, or reducing the default proprietary period for Hubble data from twelve to six months. The full list of the recommendations can also be found at the STUC webpage.
ESA HST Project Scientist, STScI
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