Skip to main content

Founding Scientist for Hubble Telescope to Speak at UK Sept. 10

By Whitney Harder

(Sept. 9, 2015) — Founding project scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope, Robert O'Dell, will speak on the University of Kentucky campus Sept. 10.  He is the guest for Sky Talk, a series of astronomy related presentations organized by the UK Department of Physics and Astronomy and the MacAdam Student Observatory.

The presentation, "Traveling Through the Orion Nebula," will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, in Room 139 of the Chemistry-Physics Building.  The program will include a Japanese National Television documentary of O'Dell and his studies of Orion Nebula, followed by a question and answer period with O'Dell.

He oversaw the development and construction of the Hubble Space Telescope for NASA and used it to make groundbreaking studies of the Orion Nebula, a vast area of star formation and one of the brightest attractions in the night sky.  He is now a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Vanderbilt University, a position he retains while conducting research with the Hubble.

O'Dell joined Vanderbilt following an illustrious career as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley; University of Chicago; and Rice University. He is chair of the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Council and is a director on the governing board of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, the organization that operates U.S. national observatories in the United States and Chile.

For more information, visit