Massanutten Regional Library selected by NASA to host virtual James Webb Space Telescope event

NASA scientists perform a tower extension test on the James Webb Space Telescope, which is set...
NASA scientists perform a tower extension test on the James Webb Space Telescope, which is set to launch in October. The telescope will orbit 1 million miles above Earth and allow astronomers to look even further into space than the Hubble Telescope, which was launched more than 30 years ago.(NASA)
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 3:17 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - It seems like these days everyone is going to space. For those on earth looking to learn a little more about what happens in other galaxies, Massanutten Regional Library is hosting a virtual program on the James Webb Space Telescope Thursday.

According to NASA’s website, The Webb Space Telescope is the agency’s most powerful and the largest science telescope ever created. The project involves an international collaboration between European and Canadian space agencies.

The project aims to explore the “most distant observable galaxies in the early universe.” Once launched, the telescope must get in position and unfold in space over a course of 29 days. The agency expects images and data sometime in 2022.

Follow the countdown to the December 18 launch here.

Susan Versen with MRL says Thursday’s event will dig into the details of the revolutionary technology.

“What the capabilities of the space telescope will be and how important that is and how far back it can go in time. It can find things about exoplanets. Which are all very new and exciting. This will allow all of our scientists better access to information that we cannot see yet,” Versen explained.

UVA post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Yao-Lun Yang, will participate in the conversation helping the audience better understand the significance of the Webb telescope. Dr. Yang is working on a project for the telescope to better understand the origin of stars.

“The images that come back will help us learn our own history. As far as how our world was created and what will affect it and what else is out there. How stars are created, how far back in time we can go to see the creation of the universe,” Versen added.

The event will be streamed through Zoom Thursday evening at 7 p.m. Registration is free and can be done through the library’s website. Read more about the James Webb Space Telescope by clicking here.

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