sci17001 — Announcement
Communicating and promoting Hubble science
18 May 2017
One of the key roles of ESA/Hubble is to advertise and promote science from European astronomers. ESA/Hubble provides the resources, the connections and the infrastructure to develop and disseminate Hubble science stories for European astronomers. 2016 was very successful in this respect, with a high number of produced press releases covering a wide variety of different topics, all associated with discoveries made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. In total, 23 press releases were produced. 11 of these focused on images taken with Hubble — either taken from the archive or new ones — while the remaining 12 presented new breakthrough results published in peer-reviewed journals.
All of the science releases were coordinated with our partners at STScI, and we cooperated local science institutions wherever possible to further increase the impact factor of the results.
We know from experience that not every story interesting for the astronomical community is also interesting for the wider public. The success of the stories we decide to promote also depends on many different factors, such as topics (planets are the best!) or timeliness in the news cycle. For each release, we evaluate success by measuring the the clicks on the article on spacetelescope.org, the number of press clippings on the web and the clicks on Eurekalert.
The release with the biggest impact in 2016 was the 26th anniversary image of the stunning Bubble Nebula. This was followed by the discovery of the most distant galaxy GN-z11, the massive stars in R136, and a new image of Mars; all had approximately the same impact rate. The releases had stunning images which were used extensively by the press. Both releases associated with recent discoveries — GN-z11 and R136 — also featured record observations: the most distant object discovered so far and the largest sample of massive stars.
The coverage of the press releases demonstrates that Hubble and the scientists using it continue to be of great interest of the press and the public. If ESA/Hubble can be useful to you to advertise your most recent Hubble results, please do get in touch here. We look forward hearing from all of you about your new stories.
ESA/Hubble, Public Information Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 176 62397500
About the Announcement