Hubble Hangouts

Live Hangouts Each Week!

We have a lot of great hangouts planned, all designed to get everyone engaged in astronomy research and outreach. Comment, present your questions, or just watch. We hope to see you there!

All Hubble Hangout events will also be announced on the Hubble Space Telescope Google Plus page

  1. Hubble Finds Evidence of Water Vapor Plumes on Europa

    NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has observed water vapor above the frigid south polar region of Jupiter's moon Europa, providing the first strong evidence of water plumes erupting off the moon's surface. Previous scientific findings from other sources already point to the existence of an ocean located under Europa's icy crust. Researchers are not yet certain whether the detected water vapor is generated by water plumes erupting on the surface, but they are confident this is the most likely explanation. Please join Tony Darnell, Dr Carol Christian and Scott Lewis as they discuss the latest findings from the astronomers making the #Hubble observations of this exciting discovery! As always, we look forward to your questions and comments as well, see you then! You can read more about this discovery here: http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/solar-system/2013/55/full/

How to Attend a Hangout

All Hubble Hangout events will be announced on the Hubble Space Telescope Google+ page.

If you have a Google+ account, please follow the Hubble Space Telescope page to be notified of future events.

You do not need a Google+ account to watch the hangouts. About 30 minutes before the event starts, the link to watch the hangout live will be posted on the event page. We will post the event on Facebook and Twitter as well.

You can also interact with us by leaving comments on the Google+ Hubble Hangout event page, using the Q&A app, the YouTube video page and Twitter (use hashtag #HubbleHangout). We will try to respond to as many of your comments as we can.

Hangout Archive

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  1. All Things Supernovae!

    Note! Special Day! Wednesday September 10th! Supernovae are among the most spectacular events in the universe. They happen when massive stars reach the end of their lives and explode with a luminosity that can outshine an entire galaxy and will emit more energy than the Sun does in its entire lifetime. While there is much we do know about these events, astronomers still have lots of questions and research is constantly uncovering more of the mysteries surrounding the deaths of massive stars. Please join Tony Darnell Dr Carol Christian and Scott Lewis as they discuss the latest findings in the study of supernovae from #Hubble and other research efforts. As always, we look forward to your questions and comments as well, see you then!

  2. Calibrating Hubble Data: Decoding the Secrets of the Distant Universe

    Have you ever wondered how astronomers are able to tease out the secrets of the distant universe from faint smudges of light in a Hubble image? How are they able to know what chemical elements are in an exoplanet atmosphere? How can they tell the difference between a galaxy, star or a cosmic ray on the detector? Please join Tony Darnell Dr. Carol Christian and Scott Lewis as they discuss the calibration of data from the Hubble Space Telescope with astronomers attending a special Hubble Data Calibration Workshop. Learn the secrets of getting science from Hubble images! 

  3. Hubble Finds Three Surprisingly Dry Exoplanets

    Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have gone looking for water vapor in the atmospheres of three planets orbiting stars similar to the Sun — and have come up nearly dry. The three planets, HD 189733b, HD 209458b, and WASP-12b, are between 60 and 900 light-years away. These giant gaseous worlds are so hot, with temperatures between 1,500 and 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, that they are ideal candidates for detecting water vapor in their atmospheres. However, to the surprise of the researchers, the planets surveyed have only one-tenth to one one-thousandth the amount of water predicted by standard planet-formation theories.

  4. Hubble Observes Strange Structure in a Galaxy Collision

    Recent observations from the Hubble Space Telescope have uncovered an uncanny 100,000-light-year-long structure that looks like a string of pearls twisted into a corkscrew shape that winds around the cores of two colliding galaxies. The unusual structure may yield new insights into the formation of stellar superclusters, the merger-driven growth of galaxies, and gas dynamics in the rarely seen merger process of two giant elliptical galaxies. Please join Tony Darnell, Dr. Carol Christian and Scott Lewis as they discuss this discovery with the astronomers who made the observations and working to understand the origin of this chain of young, blue "super star clusters". As always, your comments and questions are encouraged and welcome!

  5. How Can We Directly Image Exoplanets?

    What telescopes are needed to see exoplanets directly? Can we do it with the #Hubble Space Telescope? What would we see if we could design a telescope specifically for imaging planets around other stars? Are there any telescopes in the planning stages? The answer is yes. Astronomers are currently planning and building several telescopes that will directly resolve telescopes including #JWST and the Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST). Please join Tony Darnell Dr. Carol Christian and Scott Lewis as they discuss the technical challenges of imaging exoplanets directly with Dr. Mark Clampin of #NASA and the telescopes that are being designed and built to perform these very difficult observations. As always, we welcome your comments and questions!

  6. How to Use the Hubble Space Telescope

    Have you ever wondered how astronomers decide what the Hubble Space Telescope observes? Who gets access to the most powerful telescope in orbit above the Earth? How do we determine what objects Hubble focuses on? Follow us on a journey as an observing proposal for the Hubble Space Telescope goes from idea to observations to data to analysis. Please join Tony Darnell, Carol Christian and Scott Lewis as they discuss how the Hubble Space Telescope is used with the astronomers who are charged with its operation. We hope you'll comment and ask questions as well!

  7. Planetary Aurorae in Our Solar System

    Did you know that Earth is not the only planet in our solar system to have magnificent displays of aurorae? For over two decades, the Hubble Space Telescope has observed planets and aurorae within the confines of our solar system . Please join us as Tony Darnell, Carol Christian and Scott Lewis explore the aurorae of other planets with astronomers who have made these observations. As always, please interact with us by commenting and leaving questions, we'd love to hear from you!

  8. Hubble, White Dwarfs, Cataclysmic Variables and Amateur Astronomers

    Amateur astronomers have played a big role in astronomical research and the Hubble Space Telescope is not alone in enjoying the fruits of their labors. When astronomers asked the question, Can white dwarfs in binary systems grow in mass? Amateurs were on hand to help guide Hubble to the best observations. Understanding whether white dwarfs can gain mass is important, especially since they are the sources of a very important cosmic yardstick: Type 1a supernovae. These supernovae were directly responsible for showing us that the universe is expanding and accelerating - which meant that it also gave rise to the idea of dark energy. But making these observations of white dwarfs in order to see if they were gaining mass was tricky and older, rejected theories that cataclysmic variables might be the progenitors of Type 1a supernovae were being revisited. Please join Tony Darnell, Carol Christian and Scott Lewis as they discuss this very interesting Pro/Amateur collaboration using the Hubble Space Telescope to better understand Type 1a supernovae, white dwarf stars and cataclysmic variables. Please bring your questions and comments and we'll address them during the hangout as well!

  9. The Science of the Pan-STARRS Survey

    High atop Haleakala on the island of Maui sits a telescope with a three-degree field of view and the largest digital camera ever built, recording 1.4 BILLION pixels with every image. In operation since June 2006 and concluded observation in March 2014, the data are now housed in The Mukulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) at the Space Telescope Science Center. Please join Tony Darnell, Dr. Carol Christian and Scott Lewis as we discuss what science is possible using a large digital camera staring at very large portions of the sky with members of the Pan-STARRS team.

  10. The Continuing Evolution of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field

    One of the most amazing pictures ever returned from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Ultra Deep Field (HUDF), has just been enhanced. Astronomers using the WFC3/UVIS camera on Hubble have included ultraviolet wavelengths to the image, which already had optical and infrared compnents. We now have the most comprehensive wavelength range of any deep field image ever taken. Please join Tony Darnell, Dr. Carol Christian and Scott Lewis as they discuss how Hubble added this new data and how it impacts our understanding of the universe with the science team that took it.

  11. Frontier Fields: Survey Progress Update!

    It's been about six months since we've last checked in with the #FrontierFields team back at the January AAS and we thought it was time to get together to see how things were progressing. Frontier Fields is one of the most ambitious #Hubble observing programs ever launched. It will stare at six different clusters in varying places in the sky for over 560 orbits in an attempt to answer, among other things: Are what we see in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field images typical? Are the 10,000 galaxies seen in that small patch of sky unique or are they everywhere? The Frontier Fields team is eight months into its three year program and we will be holding regular hangouts throughout to touch base with the effort and learn what, if any, new discoveries are coming out of the Frontier Fields images. Please join +Tony Darnell , +Carol Christian and +Scott Lewis as they discuss the latest developments and discoveries from the Frontier Fields science team.

  12. The Incredible Shrinking Great Red Spot

    Using +Hubble Space Telescope observations from the past and including recent observations this year, astronomers have measured the diameter of Jupiter's Great Red Spot at approximately 10,250 miles across, the smallest ever measured. Astronomers have known that the giant storm feature on Jupiter has been shrinking since the 1930s, and now we have several decades of observations that show just how much and at what rate. By comparison, the Great Red Spot was 14,500 miles across when NASA's Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by Jupiter in 1979. Starting in 2012, amateur observations revealed a noticeable increase in the spot’s shrinkage rate. The GRS’s “waistline” is getting smaller by 580 miles per year. The shape of the GRS has changed from an oval to a circle. The cause behind the shrinking has yet to be explained. These new observations also show that very small eddies are feeding into the storm and my be responsible for the sudden change by altering the dynamics and energy of the Great Red Spot. Please join +Tony Darnell and +Carol Christian as they discuss these new observations with Dr. Amy Simon and others and bring your questions and comments. We look forward to seeing you there!

  13. Habitable Worlds: What Conditions for Life are Really Important?

    There is a fascinating workshop being held this week in Baltimore at the Space Telescope Science Institute: Habitable Worlds: Across Time and Space. The symposium is designed to provide discussion of topics related to the challenges life faces both beginning and developing on a planetary body -- either within our solar system or on distant #Exoplanets +Tony Darnell, +Carol Christian , physicist Eva Villaver, and +Mario Livio will hold a hangout this week to discuss, among a great many other interesting topics: •How well does the specific challenges facing habitability on Earth extend to other planets in our solar system and exoplanets? •What role does the galactic habitable zone play? How important is it? •What are the limits to Earth-like life? •Habitability of planets and moons during all phases of stellar evolution •Habitability in low-luminosity environments We hope you can make it live. But if you can't, remember that it will be archived on our YouTube Channel. Please bring any questions and comments and we'll try to answer them. See you there! Find out more about the Habitable Worlds Symposium here: http://www.stsci.edu/institute/conference/habitable-worlds/ Watch webcasts of the talks here: https://webcast.stsci.edu/webcast/

  14. New Technique Increases Hubble's Precision by a Factor of 10

    Astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute have devised a new technique that allows the +Hubble Space Telescope to more accurately measure distances to stars within our galaxy - up to 10 times farther than previously possible using a method known as parallax. Parallax is the most reliable method for directly measuring distances to stars within our galaxy. It uses the geometry of the Earth's orbit around the Sun to see tiny, almost imperceptible shifts of background stars behind the object being measured. Previously this technique was only effective for distances up to 750 light years. Anything further away and we couldn't see the background stars shift; the change was too small. This new capability allows astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope to measure parallax distances up to 7,500 light years away - an astonishing increase in precision of a factor of 10! Please join us as +Tony Darnell and +Scott Lewis discuss this new technique with Dr. Adam Riess, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics and Dr. Stefano Casertano, the developers of this new ability for #Hubble.

  15. The Citizen Scientists of Stardate: M83

    Early this year, along with +The Zooniverse folks, we ran a citizen scientist campaign designed to help astronomers get age dating information for star clusters in the galaxy M83 (also known as the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy). The project was a resounding success, providing astronomers with a plethora of information to help understand the ages of star clusters and their gas content. Now, we'd like to take time to discuss what some of the more prolific amateur astronomers experienced and to get their insights and advice for doing this kind of science online. Please join +Tony Darnell, +Carol Christian and others as we discuss the project with the citizen scientists who used it the most.

  16. The Cosmic Distance Scale

    How do we know how far away things are in the universe? What Yardsticks to we use and how accurate are they? On Monday, March 31, a workshop will be held at The Space Telescope Science Institute to discuss these topics and more. As an added bonus, Dr. Adam Riess, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics will join +Tony Darnell and Mario Livio to share his unique insights into this important topic in a hangout Monday Evening. Dr. Riess won his Nobel Prize using one of the best yardsticks in the universe to measure distance: Type 1a supernova. We hope you can join us and bring your questions! You can watch the talks from the workshop here: https://webcast.stsci.edu/webcast/

  17. Hubble and James Webb Space Telescope Go to SXSW

    We're going to SXSW again this year! This event will one of our social media focal points where you can participate either vicariously through the people who are at the event or you can stop by and say hi if you are in Austin. We invite people to post their #JWST or #Hubble and #SXSW related photos. We'll also be live streaming a few events while we're there so you can comment and interact on these pages during that as well. We are really looking forward to SXSW this year - we will have a booth at the Gaming Expo which will be held from March 7th through the 9th. Stay tuned for scheduled events to be posted here as the big event arrives.

  18. What Are NASA's Astrophysics Priorities?

    Every 10 years, astronomers get together to decide what questions they would MOST like answered. The results are compiled in a document known as the Decadal Survey. This survey is usually the starting point for deciding what missions NASA would like to get involved in and fund. For example in the 2000 Decadal Survey, The James Webb Space Telescope was the top priority to the science community. In the more recent 2010 Survey, WFIRST was top of the list. But these surveys describe the science opportunities that face us now and help greatly in prioritizing near-term programs for the next decade. But what about the next 30 years? NASA wants takes a long-range view that highlights the science possibilities over the next 30 years and provides the inspiration and rationale for continuing American leadership and investment in NASA's astrophysics programs. They call it the NASA Astrophysics Roadmap and they have just completed it. If you are interested in the long-term astrophysics mission of NASA over the next 30 years, please join +Tony Darnell and +Jason Kalirai as they discuss these plans with the Chair of the Road Map Committee along with many of it's members. This hangout will provide you with unprecedented access to many people who help shape NASA's science future, and it promises to be very exciting. We hope you can make it! If not, as always, it will be archived on our YouTube Channel for later viewing. We will have the Q&A app running during the event so you can communicate with us and we'll also be looking at your comments on Twitter ( #Hubblehangouts and #hubble ) and you can always leave comments on this event page and the YouTube Video.

  19. Citizen Science: Update on the Stadate: M83 Project

    Last January, Stardate: M83 was launched on +The Zooniverse This joint project was designed to enlist citizen scientists to help uncover the ages of star clusters in the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy. It is possible to estimate the age of a star cluster based on its appearance and since humans are very good at seeing these sorts of details, participants will be helping STScI astronomers identify which of the clusters in the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy (M83) have clouds of hydrogen gas around it. So, after six week, how did it go? What did the astronomers learn? Please join +Tony Darnell as he discusses the success of the project and what is coming next. As an added bonus, we've invited the top 10 citizen science classifiers to acknowledge their contributions and get their feedback. We will have the Q&A app running during the event and we also encourage you to ask any questions or comments here on this event page or use twitter and the hashtags #hubble and #hubblehangout. Hope to see you there!

  20. News From Hubble and Across the Universe - February 2014

    It's time once again for +Tony Darnell and Dr. +Frank Summers to get you caught up with the latest happenings from around the universe and from the #Hubble Space Telescope. We missed January because of the AAS meeting, but now that's over and there's lots of really cool stuff to catch up on. We hope you can make it, but if not, you can always watch it later on our YouTube Channel. Please leave your question or comments for us as well and we will discuss them during the hangout. See you there!

  21. Disk Detective: Finding the Birthplace of Planets

    Scientists are combing the galaxy looking for stars that could be harboring planet-forming disks. They need your help to explain this puzzling part of stellar evolution! Using data from the NASA WISE spacecraft, Disk Detectives is a citizen science initiative designed to get the public involved in helping identify stars that could have debris disks around them. These disks suggest that these stars are in the early stages of forming planetary systems. Please join +Tony Darnell and +Alberto Conti as they discuss this exciting new +The Zooniverse project with the science team that developed it!

  22. The Most Distant Galaxies Ever Seen

    Earlier this month, the most distant galaxy every confirmed was announced. This galaxy is the farthest and earliest whose distance can be definitively confirmed with follow-up observations from the Keck I telescope, one of the largest on earth.

  23. News from Hubble and Across the Universe with Dr. Frank Summers

    It's time for our monthly hangout with Dr. +Frank Summers and +Tony Darnell as they discuss the latest happenings from the universe as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope. Actually we're a little late since we usually try to do this on the first Wednesday of each month following the Public Lecture Series at STScI but this month we will have it one week later. Please join us as we talk about everything from #frontierfields to Comet #ISON , and anything else you want to hear more about, so please bring your questions and comments!

  24. Hubble Releases New Comet ISON Observations

    The Space Telescope Science Institute will release new observations of Comet ISON taken with the #Hubble Space Telescope. We'll host a hangout, coinciding with the news release of this data, to discuss these observations and the latest about Comet ISON. * Has ISON gotten brighter? * Is it breaking up? * Is it sprouting jets? * Will it survive perihelion? Please join +Tony Darnell and +Scott Lewis, along with +Bonnie Meinke, +Max Mutchler, +Zolt Levay, +Jian-Yang Li as they discuss these topics and your questions and comments about this oncoming comet. #hangoutsonair #ISON

  25. News From Hubble and Across the Universe

    Every month, +Frank Summers hosts the Public Lecture Series on the first Tuesday. As part of the lecture event, he also gives a brief summary of interesting news from the world of Hubble and astronomy in general. Please join +Tony Darnell and +Frank Summers as they catch you up on some of the latest news, including: - Voyager Get a Stamp in its Passport - A Cosmic Caterpillar plays with a Space Slinky - A Martian Encounter with Comet ISON And anything else you care to talk about, or want to know. As always we'll be taking questions and reading your comments. Hope to see you there!

  26. Latest Hubble and Astro News!

    Join Dr. Frank Summers and Tony Darnell for the latest Hubble Hangout. Every month, +Frank Summers hosts the Public Lecture Series on the first Tuesday. As part of the lecture event, he also gives a brief summary of interesting news from the world of Hubble and astronomy in general. Please join +Tony Darnell and +Frank Summers as they catch you up on some of the latest news, including: the 10th anniversary of the Spitzer Space Telescope; the end of Kepler as we know it; the new Frontier Fields Program for the Hubble Space Telescope And anything else you care to talk about, or want to know. As always we'll be taking questions and reading your comments. Hope to see you there!

  27. How to Get Comet ISON Hubble Data

    Ever wondered how to get images and original data from the Hubble Space Telescope yourself? Here's your chance, we're holding a hangout to show you how you can access and download Hubble data of the Comet #ISON. Please join +Tony Darnell , +Alberto Conti and +Scott Lewis as they work with +Zolt Levay, +Max Mutchler and +Bonnie Meinke to show you how to get data for the comet yourself!

  28. What Are Hubble's Greatest Images?

    Since 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has been expanding our knowledge of the universe in ways that were never anticipated and has helped us answer questions we hadn't even thought to ask. The images that have been sent from this perch high in orbit around the Earth have provided us with unprecedented views of the cosmos. So, we started wondering: which images were the best? Which images have provided the most important contribution to our understanding of the universe? Which ones were the most beautiful? HubbleSite is scheduled to post a best-of-Hubble image collection within our Gallery by Summer's end – a slideshow we're calling "Hubble's Top Shots." We are aiming to provide a group of at least 100 images based both on scientific significance and aesthetics/popularity. So let us know what images you think should be included in this list by posting using the hashtag #hubbletopshots or leaving a comment on this event!

  29. The Hubble Space Telescope and Comet ISON

    The #Hubble Space Telecope is poised to provide us with new images of Comet #ISON as it approaches the inner solar system. In the coming months, we'll get views of the comet from a perspective only #Hubble can provide. Please join us as we discuss not only Comet ISON, but all things comet!

  30. A New Look at the Ring Nebula

    The Ring Nebula is a very familiar landmark in the night sky. It has been studied and imaged extensively by everyone from professional astronomers to first time telescope buyers. Join us as +Tony Darnell and +Frank Summers discuss new observations taken that have given us the most detail look we've ever had of this famous nebula. Frank will also tell us how he made his incredible visualization that illustrates the structure of the nebula complex in three dimensions. Frank and Tony will also discuss new developments and science being done using the Hubble Space Telescope Hope to see you there!

  31. Let's Celebrate 23 Years of Hubble

    We're celebrating 23 years of awesome Hubble images with a brand new release from Hubble Heritage. We also have an eye-popping 3D simulation of the Horsehead based on the image you won't want to miss! Please join +Zolt Levay and +Frank Summers as they talk with +Jennifer Mack about the process of selecting this target, the observations, and the making of the new color image and simulation.

  32. Things Every Space Fan Should Know about Hubble

    Please join +Frank Summers and +Tony Darnell as we discuss everything Hubble. This hangout will feature broad-ranging topics to include: Can Hubble see the Apollo landing sites? Can it be pointed to Earth? What instruments does it have onboard and how have they changed over the years?

  33. Exploring Hubble Data Yourself

    Our first hangout will feature Dr. +Brad Whitmore, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute who specializes in galaxy collisions and mergers. He will be joined by +Tony Darnell and they will discuss galaxy collisions and why they are important to astronomy. We'll also introduce you to the Hubble Legacy Archive, an online repository of Hubble data used in astronomical research that is open to everyone.