The first full-colour images from NASA’s largest and most powerful space science telescope will be revealed to the public at an exciting free event at Space Park Leicester.
The pioneering Midlands facility has been successful in its bid to the European Space Agency to showcase the first images from the £10 billion James Webb Space Telescope when they are released on July 12.
The telescope has travelled nearly a million miles into space to study 13.5 billion years of cosmic history, including the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe, the evolution of galaxies, the lifecycle of stars and other worlds outside our solar system.
Scientists involved in the project hope its findings will help us to discover how the universe began and how we fit into the cosmos.
Dr John Pye, Senior Research Fellow of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester and Space Park Leicester, said: “We’re delighted that Space Park Leicester, as part of the WebbUK consortium, has been selected to showcase the first science observations from the most complex and powerful space telescope ever built.
“We don’t know what will be released on July 12, but we’ve all been amazed by the Hubble Space Telescope images over many years, and Webb is hundred times more powerful.
“It will be a momentous occasion and we’re really looking forward to viewing Webb’s first results.
“Prior to the event we won’t have seen the images so the opportunity to share this with the public is particularly exciting for us; both on the day and through follow-on events at the nearby National Space Centre.
“It is expected that this first release of Webb results will include examples from a wide range of astronomical objects, from nearby stars and extrasolar planets to distant galaxies.”
We are hosting this event as the University of Leicester Space Research Centre played an important role in the design, build and commissioning of the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI).
The showcase will take place from 3.30pm to 5pm on July 12 [SOLD OUT], but you will also be able to view the live broadcast on NASA TV: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/#public
We are grateful that Paul O’Brien, Charly Feldman, Andrew Blain and John Pye have kindly agreed to provide their expert opinion on the data as it is received.