The Hubble Space Telescope is one of our nation’s foremost research tools, a powerful machine that for nearly two and a half decades has allowed scientists to peer into – and learn about – the deepest reaches of our solar system.
The HST is in such demand that each moment of its time is highly sought after. Every year, according to the Space Telescope Science Institute, 1,200 or more proposals from around the world are submitted seeking observation time on the Hubble.
About one-fifth of those proposals end up being chosen.
So I am proud – but not surprised – that proposals from Professor Eric S. Perlman and Assistant Professor Véronique Petit, both in our Physics and Space Sciences Department, were accepted for Hubble observation time.
As noted elsewhere in this newsletter, Perlman will use his Hubble time to study flowing energy and matter coming from the first quasar ever discovered, known as 3C 273. And Petit will study the powerful stellar winds associated with massive stars.
This excellent work is just the latest in our university’s storied association with space and the space program.
Earlier this spring, we got word that a project involving a specialized camera led by Associate Professor Dan Batcheldor from Physics and Space Sciences was among a new round of experiments approved for study on the International Space Station, even as a previous Florida Tech experiment on the ISS – called SPHERES-Slosh – won an award as one of three top space station experiments of 2013.
What underlies all of these experiments and projects, as varied as their methods and final results may be, is that they are guided by our outstanding faculty – men and women who understand that building their own knowledge can only benefit what they do in the classroom.
What a wonderful thought as we look forward to the start of the new academic year.