Hubble Telescope Director Steven Beckwith to address Harpur Forum


NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has been pushing the frontiers of astronomy since its launch in 1990. The orbiting observatory has watched comets disintegrate, measured the expansion rate of the universe and detected clumps of matter - perhaps the seeds of planets - swirling around the stars.

This is the world of Steven V.W. Beckwith, director of the Space Telescope Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University, who will speak to the Harpur Forum at its breakfast meeting at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, September 19, at the Binghamton Club. Beckwith’s talk, titled “The Universe through the Hubble Space Telescope,” will begin at approximately 8 a.m.

Beckwith joined the Space Telescope Science Institute in 1998 as its director. Prior to joining the institute, he was director of the Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie in Heidelberg, Germany, a position he held from 1991 until 1998.

Beckwith holds a degree in engineering physics from Cornell University. In 1978, Beckwith went on to earn a doctorate in physics from the California Institute of Technology. At Caltech, Beckwith conducted his research in various areas of observational astrophysics, working with a group that developed infrared instruments for the telescopes at Mount Wilson and Palomar Mountain. He went from Caltech to the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University where he taught for 13 years.

Beckwith’s main research interests are the formation and early evolution of planets including those outside the solar system and the birth of galaxies in the early universe. He has published many research articles and lectures extensively to both the general public and professional audiences. Beckwith has won numerous awards in the United States and Europe for his research and serves on various advisory committees that help shape the landscape of funding for major international astronomy projects.

Last Updated: 9/17/13