ASU selected to host NASA events for James Webb Telescope Launch
The James Webb Space Telescope is the largest, most powerful and complex space science telescope ever built. It is targeted to launch into space from Kourou, French Guiana, on Dec. 18.
Webb will serve as the premier deep space observatory for the next decade, exploring every phase of cosmic history — from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe, and everything in between.
Artist’s conception of the James Webb Space Telescope. Photo courtesy of NASA GSFC/CIL/Adriana Manrique Gutierrez
Arizona State University Regents Professor Rogier Windhorst of the School of Earth and Space Exploration is a co-investigator and interdisciplinary scientist for Webb. He is joined by research scientist Rolf Jansen and assistant research scientist Seth Cohen, along with a team of ASU undergraduate and graduate students working on this mission.
In honor of this historic launch and to highlight ASU’s involvement in this mission, the university is joining nearly 500 event hosts across the nation that were selected by NASA to provide a series of events celebrating Webb and highlighting the scientists behind the telescope.
NASA’s Science Activation (SciAct) program, a community-based approach to connect NASA science with learners of all ages, is leading the national efforts to celebrate the launch of Webb and to showcase the mission.
“We are excited about a new approach where nearly 500 communities hear firsthand the ‘behind the scenes’ story about this incredible mission from science experts,” said Kristen Erickson, director of science engagement and partnerships at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. “Partnering with these communities at the beginning of Webb’s journey will also provide insights about how we can co-create opportunities together for Arizona and the nation.”
To encourage participation in Webb events across Arizona, and in conjunction with four of ASU’s SciAct projects, including ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration SCoPE and Infiniscope projects, the school has created a Webb calendar of events with 15 NASA-selected hosts across the state. Continue reading…
More powerful Webb telescope will provide a look back in time
ASU astronomers discuss NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope, which launches in December
In a little more than two months, humankind’s most powerful eye on the universe will launch, literally giving astronomers the ability to look back in time.
The James Webb Space Telescope is an orbiting infrared observatory with longer wavelength coverage and greatly improved sensitivity. The longer wavelengths enable Webb to look much closer to the beginning of time and to hunt for the unobserved formation of the first galaxies, as well as to look inside dust clouds where stars and planetary systems are forming today.
Thursday night a panel of Arizona State University scientists and students reviewed the telescope, which will launch from French Guiana on Dec. 18.
The panel was the first in a lineup of events ASU has been selected to host in honor of the telescope’s launch.
“Our universe is filled with galaxies,” said senior Liam Nolan, an undergraduate student who researches under the direction of Regents Professor Rogier Windhorst in the School of Earth and Space Exploration.
Nolan displayed the famous Hubble Ultra Deep Field photo, a shot of 10,000 galaxies that look like Lucky Charms against a star field. Thirty-one years after Hubble’s launch, the telescope is now about 12 years past its design life. The primary Webb mirror is 2.5 times bigger than Hubble’s and will see longer wavelengths. Continue reading…