Heidi B. Hammel has joined our line-up of writers at the Catholic Astronomer! She is the Executive Vice President of AURA, Inc ., a non-profit consortium of universities and institutions that manages and operates astronomical facilities, including the Hubble Space Telescope. She also serves as Vice President of The Planetary Society , a public advocacy group whose mission is to empower the world’s citizens to advance space science and exploration.

Dr. Hammel primarily studies outer planets and their satellites, with a focus on observational techniques. For the impact of  Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter in July 1994, Heidi led the Hubble Space Telescope team that investigated Jupiter's atmospheric response to the collisions.

She was a member of the Imaging Science Team for the  Voyager 2  encounter with Neptune in 1989. Her latest research involves studies of Neptune and Uranus with Hubble Keck , and other Earth-based observatories. Dr. Hammel is also an Interdisciplinary Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope .