Hickory – Catawba Science Center has joined hundreds of sites across the country to celebrate the release of the first science images from the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s next great space science observatory. Join us July 12 at 6:00 PM in the Millholland Planetarium to view a virtual NASA and ESA assembled expert panel. After this official presentation, Catawba Valley Astronomy Club members will lead a discussion on the context of this momentous occasion and what we can expect as we further explore space in the infrared spectrum!

Catawba Science Center is thrilled to be an official host site for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope community events celebrating Webb’s first stunning images. This FREE event is made possible thanks to the support of Hickory Public Library helping our community celebrate this amazing feat of science and engineering. People of all ages and backgrounds will find inspiration in Webb’s new view of the cosmos, which will fundamentally change our understanding of the universe for this generation and many to come. Space is limited. Email [email protected] or call 828-322-8169 to reserve your spot!

Webb is the largest and most complex space science telescope ever built – the premier observatory of the next decade. This international mission, led by NASA in partnership with the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, launched Dec. 25, 2021. After unfolding in space into its final form, Webb successfully arrived at its destination nearly 1 million miles from Earth and began preparing for science operations.

The observatory, which is designed to see the universe in the infrared, will push the field of astronomy into a new era. Webb will be able to study light from distant parts of the universe for the very first time – the first galaxies that formed over 13.5 billion years ago – and give us insight into how our universe formed. It will also peer into dusty stellar nurseries to explore distant worlds orbiting other stars, as well as observe objects in our own solar system. Webb will extend the scientific discoveries of other NASA missions like the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory, and Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.

The JWST Picture Party will be on Tuesday, July 12 at 6:00 PM in the Millholland Planetarium, doors open at 5:30 PM. For more details visit CatawbaScience.org/events or call 828-322-8169.

To learn more about the Webb telescope, visit webb.nasa.gov and webbtelescope.org. For information about other community events, visit CatawbaScience.org/events.