Arecibo Observatory joins NASA celebration of Webb telescope launch
By The Star Staff
The Arecibo Observatory (AO) along with the Criollo Science & Technology Center of the Caribbean (C3Tec by its Spanish acronym) in Caguas have joined nearly 500 museums across tAhe United States to celebrate the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, which figures to become one of great space science observatories of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
On Saturday, the AO and C3Tec will offer a variety of interactive programs at the C3Tec museum to bring the excitement of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) to children, adolescents and adults.
“We are delighted that the AO is an official host of the events for the launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope,” said Dr. Abniel Machín de Jesús, executive director of the AO’s educational component. “We have partnered with C3Tec to help our community celebrate this incredible feat of science and engineering. People of all ages and backgrounds will find inspiration in the mission of the James Webb, which will fundamentally change our understanding of the universe for this generation and many to come.”
The Webb telescope is the largest and most complex space science telescope ever built, and will be the premier observatory of the next decade. The international mission, led by NASA in partnership with the European and Canadian spacecraft agencies, will launch in December.
“The truth is that you can already see how anticipation is increasing in the scientific community,” said Dr. Noemí Pinilla-Alonso, adjunct principal investigator of the OA and a planetary scientist at the Florida Space Institute. “I feel privileged to have access to analyze the first data that the James Webb is going to obtain on the coldest bodies of our solar system, those that keep frozen on their surface the essence of the stages of formation of the planets that we all know and about the origin of water and life on earth.”
The Webb telescope will provide a new view of the cosmos and drive the field of astronomy into a new era. It will observe the universe in the infrared, looking into dust clouds to study the light from distant parts of the universe for the first time. The first galaxies were formed about 13.5 billion years ago, and it will give us an idea of how our universe was formed.
It will also explore distant worlds in other solar systems, as well as objects in our own solar system. The Webb telescope will expand on scientific discoveries from other NASA missions such as the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the transiting exoplanet exploration satellite.