Science Briefing: The James Webb Space Telescope - Unfolding the Universe
Please join us for this special edition of the Universe of Learning Science Briefings! We will hear about the James Webb Space Telescope, launching later this year, and all the amazing new science that can be done with this revolutionary observatory.
In this briefing, speakers will share content about exoplanets, galaxies, and what to expect before and after Webb’s launch. Dr. Néstor Espinoza will discuss how JWST will revolutionize our knowledge of the atmospheric make-up of distant exoplanets. Dr. Vivian U will present growing supermassive black holes as galaxies collide and merge. Dr. Susan Neff will present an overview of the JWST launch and the commissioning that will ready the telescope for science. In addition to these perspectives, we will highlight several resources relating to this content.
ABOUT THE SERIES
The NASA’s Universe of Learning Science Briefings are professional learning telecons for the informal science education community, done in partnership with the NASA’s Museum & Informal Education Alliance. These monthly thematic briefings highlight current NASA astrophysics explorations and discoveries from across the suite of NASA astrophysics missions. NASA scientists and engineers provide contemporary science results, and are able to respond to listener questions during the telecon. NASA-developed education and outreach resources, matched to the monthly theme, are included in every briefing.
In order to participate in the telecon and ask questions of the scientists, please join NASA’s Museum & Informal Education Alliance at https://informal.jpl.nasa.gov/museum/.
FACILITATOR & PRESENTERS
Dr. Christopher Britt is an education and outreach scientist in the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). He got his PhD in astronomy at Louisiana State University in 2013, followed by postdoctoral positions at Texas Tech University and Michigan State University, where he used ground- and space-based observatories to study accretion onto the compact remnants of dead stars. Dr. Britt has been a member of the Office of Public Outreach since 2018 where he works with the Hubble, JWST, and WFIRST communications teams, as well as with the broader NASA science education community, via NASA’s Universe of Learning, to deliver accurate cutting-edge science content to learners of all ages.
Dr. Néstor Espinoza is an Assistant Astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute. Dr. Espinoza is involved in several projects related to the detection of new exoplanets, the characterization of their atmospheres and to the understanding of how these worlds came to be through theoretical models & new characterization techniques. At the Institute, he leads teamsthat focus on optimizing the scientific output from the JWST mission, in particular related to exoplanet atmospheric characterization. Before joining the Institute, he was a Bernoulli Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany.
Dr. Vivian U is an extragalactic observational astronomer studying supermassive black holes and galaxy evolution. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Astrophysics from the California Institute of Technology in 2006, and her PhD in Astronomy from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2012. She was involved in the Thirty Meter Telescope project as a TMT postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Riverside, and subsequently became a University of California Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow. She has joined the University of California, Irvine as an assistant research astronomer, where she serves as the Principal Investigator for a NASA astrophysics data analysis project and for a James Webb Space Telescope Cycle 1 observing program targeting supermassive black holes in nearby galaxy mergers.
Dr. Susan Neff is the Deputy Operations Project Scientist for JWST, at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. She earned her A.B from Vanderbilt University, and her PhD from the University of Virginia / National Radio Astronomy Observatory. After postdoctoral positions at Dwingeloo in the Netherlands and at the Naval Research Lab in Washington DC, she joined NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope instrument team and later served as the NASA Mission Scientist for GALEX. Her research focuses on galaxy evolution, particularly the connections between galaxy interactions, inflows, outflows, and active nuclei.