Ata Sarajedini Selected as Chair of Hubble Space Telescope Time Allocation Committee

Professor and Bjorn Lamborn Endowed Chair in Astrophysics, Ata Sarajedini, Ph.D., has been selected to serve as the chair of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Time Allocation Committee (TAC). HST is managed by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, which oversees the operation of the telescope and the vetting of proposals to select the most meritorious projects to be awarded time on the Hubble Space Telescope.    

There is an observing proposal cycle approximately every year wherein panels of experts, each panel consisting of about 10 individuals, evaluate proposals from a range of subdisciplines, which spans from planetary astronomy to stars, galaxies, and cosmology. The Hubble Space Telescope is now on its 29th cycle of observing proposals after launching into Earth’s orbit in 1990. 

Sarajedini remarks, “I have been asked to chair the HST TAC committee for cycle 29. There are typically 15 to 20 panels for the numerous subdisciplines to consider the merits of each proposal. Each subdiscipline chair will convene to review larger proposals submitted for HST time.” 

“It’s an honor to be selected as the chairperson overseeing and guiding the HST TAC committee, and serving science in awarding top researchers from around the world observing time on the Hubble Space Telescope, advancing our collective understanding of the universe,” Sarajedini states.

After receiving his Ph.D. in Astronomy at Yale in 1992, Sarajedini spent five years as a postdoctoral researcher and a Hubble Fellow at Kitt Peak National Observatory and San Francisco State University, among other research and leadership positions in higher education.  Ata’s research is focused on resolved stellar populations in Local Group galaxies. These include field stars, open and globular clusters in the Milky Way, M31, M33, the Magellanic Clouds, and the numerous nearby dwarf galaxies. 

He also currently serves as the scientific advisor to the television series, “Star Gazers,” the long-running South Florida PBS produced show that airs nationally each week. Looking to learn more about all things astronomy? Listen to the Astronomy Minute podcast , hosted by Ata Sarajedini.