Engineering Miracles for Scientific Discoveries with the James Webb Space Telescope

February 7, 2018 | 8:00pm
Presented Online | Museum in Washington, DC
Free, Tickets Required

This lecture will be webcast on Air and Space Live

7:30 pm           Meet the lecturer
8:00 pm           Lecture begins
9:00 pm           Stargazing in the Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory, weather permitting

In 1995, scientists asked NASA for an infrared telescope to go far beyond what Hubble can show us: the first stars, galaxies, and black holes; planets and dust clouds that are too cool to emit visible light; and planets, comets, asteroids, and satellites throughout our solar system and beyond.  NASA responded with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), planned for launch in spring 2019. JWST is far larger and more powerful than any space telescope before, operating a million miles from Earth and cooled to 50 Kelvin.

In this lecture, Nobel Prize winner John Mather, senior astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and project manager for the James Webb Space Telescope, will outline how the team conceived the design, why they’re building it the way they are, and how they are testing it to make sure it will work. He will also speculate on what JWST might reveal. Considering that it could detect the light and heat of a bumblebee hovering at the distance of the Moon, we can expect to be amazed.

This lecture is free but tickets are required. Please reserve your tickets using the form below. Please note: all new ticket requests for this lecture will be for overflow seating in the Museum's Albert Einstein Planetarium.

About the Exploring Space Lecture Series

Meet Hubble's Successor: The James Webb Space Telescope
When the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) launches in 2019, it will be the premier space observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang to the formation of galaxies, stars, and planetary systems capable of supporting life. This year’s Exploring Space lectures explore the final preparations of launching and commissioning the JWST and capture the excitement among leading participants eagerly anticipating "first light." Each speaker will lend their personal insight and perspective to help us appreciate the significance of the JWST in its fullest scientific, technical, and historical context. Get tickets to all the Exploring Space lectures. 

The Exploring Space Lecture Series is made possible by the generous support of Aerojet Rocketdyne and United Launch Alliance.