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Hubble National Teach-In Hubble National Teach-In

Calling all teachers and students! Celebrate the Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th anniversary in your classroom with the Hubble National Teach-In on April 24, 2015, at 1 PM EDT.

Celebrate Hubble in the Classroom
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April 24, 2015, marks the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. You can participate in this celestial silver celebration right in your classroom!

Join Hubble educators and astronomers for an online exploration of the remarkable history and still-bright future of a telescope that has transformed both the way we do astronomy and our understanding of the universe. Discover the trials and triumphs of NASA's first Great Observatory, learn about some of its remarkable scientific achievements, and experience a compendium of some of the greatest imagery the universe has ever known.

Go even further by investigating Hubble in your class. Pose questions to be addressed during the event. Join the Nationwide Galaxy Count, and analyze a section of one of Hubble's most important images. Provide your data for a coast-to-coast group estimate of the number of galaxies in the observable universe!

Our featured speaker will be Dr. Frank Summers, outreach astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute. Dr. Summers has worked on Hubble education and outreach for 14 years, having done nearly a thousand presentations for students, teacher professional development, and the public. He is nationally known for his work on a Teaching Company DVD course, planetarium shows, television documentaries, and IMAX films.

Save the date for the Hubble National Teach-In

See below for detailed information on how to participate in the event, ask questions in advance, and submit data for the Nationwide Galaxy Count.

Join us, and bring Hubble's Universe directly into your classroom!


Participation Details

The Hubble National Teach-In will be run as a Google Hangout on April 24, 2015, at 1 PM EDT. Attending the event is as easy as watching a YouTube video. Simply visit this web page and click on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHD1pR4Ma1w.

If you would like to test your setup in advance, try this YouTube video featuring Dr. Frank Summers: Deep Universe: Hubble's Universe Unfiltered. If you can view and hear that video, you should be good to go for the Hubble National Teach-In.

Other considerations:


  • All students are welcome and encouraged to attend. Hubble images can be enjoyed by all ages. While some of the scientific explanations are better suited to middle school level and above, there will be something for everyone in this Teach-In.

  • Our focus audience is students and teachers in classrooms in the US. However, everyone, everywhere is welcome to join the Hubble National Teach-In.

  • Make sure you have speakers! If watching as a group in a classroom or an auditorium, you will need to connect the computer to speakers so everyone can hear.

  • Some schools block access to YouTube. Remember to test your setup with the computer in the location and on the network you will use on April 24, 2015.

  • Video live-streaming of the Hubble National Teach-In will require consistent bandwidth for an hour. Inconsistent bandwidth may cause issues such as pauses or glitches in the audio or video streams.

Can't attend the live broadcast? Don't worry, the recorded hangout will be posted on YouTube and other web sites soon after the event. The YouTube link for the recorded broadcast will be the same as for the live broadcast.


Submit Questions in Advance

Your class can submit questions that may be answered live during the event!

Have your class do some research about Hubble before the event. Visit the Amazing Space website. Try one of the suggested activities in the list below or pick one that sparks your imagination. Discuss what you find, and identify what you want to know more about.

Questions can be submitted via email. The top questions will be answered during the Hubble National Teach-In on April 24, 2015. Other questions may be answered in the future through other Hubble educational activities.

These are the rules governing question submission:


  • Submit questions by April 17, 2015.

  • Please state your question clearly.

  • Please provide the class name (optional), grade level, school, and zip code.

  • Please use a Subject line of "question for Hubble National Teach-In".

  • One question per email, please.

  • Send questions via email to: amazing-space@stsci.edu

  • Submit questions by April 17, 2015.

Here is a sample of resources that you can explore before or after the Hangout to learn more about telescopes, Hubble, and Hubble discoveries. Find activities like these and more at the Amazing Space website.

Telescopes From the Ground Up
This online exploration traces the history of the telescope from Galileo's first look at the stars to the work of modern observatories. Milestones in telescope development are highlighted along with biography pages, which provide a glimpse of the inventors and astronomers behind the telescopes. The science of light and the technology of telescopes is presented in a section called "Get to the Root of It."

Hubble Revisits Famous Pillars for 25th Anniversary
This Star Witness news story highlights Hubble's new portraits of one of its most iconic subjects: the Eagle Nebula. Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 was used to capture a wider and more complete view of the "Pillars of Creation" in both visible and near-infrared light. The contrast of the two images is startling, with the near-infrared image revealing many hidden background stars.

The Hubble Space Telescope Lithograph
This image of the Hubble Space Telescope was taken just after the observatory was released from space shuttle Atlantis near the end of Servicing Mission 4 in 2009. The text describes how the telescope works. A diagram identifies the telescope's science instruments and other important parts. An inquiry-based classroom activity is included.

M16: Eagle Nebula Lithograph
These Hubble Space Telescope images show two views of the iconic pillars in the Eagle Nebula – one in visible light and the other in infrared light. The infrared-light image reveals a myriad of stars behind the nebula, as well as newly-forming stars within the pillars. An inquiry-based classroom activity is included.


Nationwide Galaxy Count

Join other schools nationwide in estimating the number of galaxies throughout the universe!

One of Hubble's most important images is the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF). This very long exposure, about 11 days of combined Hubble observations, shows numerous galaxies stretching across the universe. Yet, the HUDF image shows only a very small patch of the night sky.

To estimate the number of galaxies in the HUDF, and then the number of galaxies throughout the universe, one can use the technique of representative sampling. The idea is to count galaxies in a small section, and use that count to estimate the number in a larger region.

Our Nationwide Galaxy Count combines the efforts of students, teachers, and schools across the nation to provide an estimate of the total number of galaxies in the HUDF. During the Hubble National Teach-In, this estimate will be used to provide an estimate of the total number of galaxies in the observable universe.

Here are the basic instructions for how to participate:


  • Download one or more of the PDF files below. Each PDF file contains 10 HUDF cutouts.

  • Have teams of students choose a HUDF cutout and count the number of galaxies they find.

  • Submit your galaxy counts using the instructions at the bottom of this section.

For more detailed instructions, consult this file: NGC_instructions.pdf

HUDF Cutout Images: There are 100 HUDF cutout images, numbered 00 to 99. All of the HUDF cutouts can be found in these 10 PDF files. Each PDF file contains 10 HUDF cutout images.

Here's how to submit your data to the Nationwide Galaxy Count:


  • Submit galaxy counts by April 17, 2015.

  • Please provide data in this format: "HUDF cutout XX - Galaxy count YY". Replace "XX" with the HUDF cutout number and "YY" with the count of galaxies.

  • You should use multiple lines in one email to submit multiple HUDF cutout galaxy counts. However, one HUDF cutout and galaxy count per line, please.

  • Please provide the class name (optional), grade level, school, and zip code.

  • Please use a Subject line of "data for Nationwide Galaxy Count".

  • Send data via email to: amazing-space@stsci.edu

  • Submit galaxy counts by April 17, 2015.

Thanks for participating in the Nationwide Galaxy Count, where students join together to tackle a problem of cosmic proportions!