sci22011 — Announcement

2022 ESA/Hubble Highlights

19 December 2022

-By Bethany Downer-

2022 was another busy year for the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

In 2022 scientists throughout Europe published a large number of exciting new results. Of the various ESA/Hubble science releases published this year, some memorable scientific news that garnered particular public interest included Hubble’s detection of the light of Earendel, a star that existed within the first billion years after the Universe’s birth in the Big Bang, and the report of direct evidence for a lone black hole drifting through interstellar space by a precise mass measurement. After 32 years of operation, it’s staggering to consider the magnitude and impact of the telescope’s continuing output of breakthrough results.

All of the many beautiful photo releases published this year have been popular with the public. Most notably, Hubble celebrated its 32nd birthday with a galaxy grouping, and teamed up with its new friend in space Webb to observe the aftermath of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) impact. Hubble celebrated Halloween with a beautiful glowing galaxy cluster, and finished off 2022 by capturing different moments in a far-off supernova explosion in a single snapshot. The popular ESA/Hubble Pictures of the Week series was covered roughly 15% more in the media in 2021 than in 2020. Notable images from this weekly series include Herbig–Haro object 34spiral galaxy M74 (which coincided with a new image of the same object as seen by Webb), and a portion of the open cluster NGC 6530.

Looking ahead to ESA/Hubble’s activities in 2023, we want to continue to emphasise the role of ESA and the European astronomical community in the telescope’s continued success and the use of Hubble data by European institutions and scientists. As Chief Science Communications Officer, my primary goal is to promote the Hubble Space Telescope’s science for the European Space Agency in close collaboration with the ESA Project Scientist for Hubble. ESA/Hubble and can help Hubble scientists by producing and distributing press releases, image processing, web articles, artists’ impressions, and high-definition videos — like the 2022 release highlights mentioned above. If you think any aspect of your research could be of interest to the public at large, or your observations might produce an image suitable for public release, please get in touch so we can explore possible avenues for promoting your work!


Bethany Downer
ESA/Hubble Chief Science Communications Officer

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