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Sun, Jul 09, 2023

NASA Plans Celebrations of Webb Space Telescope’s First Year

Ten-Billion-Dollar Baby

NASA is making ready to commemorate the James Webb Space Telescope’s first year of operations and celebrate the discoveries deriving thereof.

The largest device of its kind yet conceived of and deployed by humankind, the Webb Space Telescope is equipped with high-resolution and high-sensitivity instruments by which it affords earthbound astronomers and cosmologists unprecedentedly clear views of objects too old, distant, or faint to be perceived by the venerable Hubble Space Telescope.

The James Webb telescope facilitates investigations across numerous astronomical and cosmological disciplines, and has provided human eyes glimpses of the first stars and galaxies burst to life following the Big Bang, and detailed atmospheric characterizations of potentially habitable exoplanets.

In observance of the telescope’s first year, NASA has planned multiple live and online events across the U.S.

The first full-color images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope—known in NASA’s internal patois as merely Webb—were released 12 July 2022. The images thrilled scientists and laymen alike, and marked the commencement of the observatory’s scientific mission. In the months since, Webb has discovered a number of the earliest galaxies ever observed, delivered the most detailed views of the atmospheres of planets outside our solar system, and captured startling views of planets within the Sol system.

The schedule of Webb first anniversary events is as follows:

Wednesday, 12 July:

06:00 EDT: Release of a new Webb image online. Live interviews with Webb mission experts get underway.

  • Webb mission experts will make themselves available to conduct live remote interviews with broadcast media in both English and Spanish. Details pertaining to scheduling subject interviews are available online. Webb experts will be available, upon request, for interviews outside the scheduled window.

16:00 EDT: NASA Science Live online:

  • A pair of Webb mission experts will undertake an online discussion of the manner in and extent to which the orbital telescope has influenced space exploration over the course of its first year in operation. The show will air live on the NASA Science Live website, as well as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Viewers may submit questions via social media using the hashtag #UnfoldtheUniverse or by leaving a comment in the chat section of the Facebook or YouTube streams.

Friday, 14 July:

13:00 EDT: Webb anniversary event, Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore.

  • Visitors of all ages will be provided opportunity to learn about the Webb telescope and the means by which it studies the universe with infrared radiation. The event will feature discussions of Webb, a Virtual Reality experience, hands-on activities for children, and educational giveaway items.

Summer 2023:

Webb anniversary community events, nationwide:

  • Throughout the summer, across locations around the U.S. NASA will host Webb Community Events celebrating the space telescope’s first anniversary. The free, public events will be held at schools, libraries, museums, and additional community locations in 25 states across July, August, and September. Each event will be unique, and all will highlight Webb’s observations and accomplishments.

The James Webb Space Telescope is an international initiative led by NASA with support from the agency’s ESA (European Space Agency), and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) partners.

FMI: www.nasa.gov/webb

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