James Webb Telescope first images celebrated in Ashland

This cropped image shows a portion of the first image released that was taken by NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. Known as Webb’s First Deep Field, it shows thousands of galaxies in galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago.
July 29, 2022

ScienceWorks hosts weekend event, including activities and a NASA ambassador

The public has a chance to see spectacular first image footage from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and learn more about the mission with hands-on activities at ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum in Ashland this weekend.

ScienceWorks will host an event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31, to celebrate the James Webb Space Telescope’s first images at ScienceWorks, 1500 East Main St.

The event will feature a look at the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope, the most sophisticated and high resolution views of our universe to date. NASA Ambassador Colin White will be present to answer questions from the public Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, July 30.

First images will be shown in the museum’s gallery and Science Theater. Hands-on activities will be offered throughout the museum. Investigations will include a space-themed scavenger hunt, a walk-in camera obscura, rocket making and sun print making, as well as optics investigations.

Admission to the event is free for ScienceWorks members. General admission tickets will include access to the museum’s exhibits. Adult general admission is $12.50 per guest and child general admission is $10.50. Groups of 15 or more can email visitorservices@scienceworksmuseum.org for a reduced admission of $8 per person. ACCESS/EBT card-holder admission is $3 per guest. Memberships are $25 per person or $85 for a family of 4 and provide unlimited visits for a full year.

The “Cosmic Cliffs” image appears to show a landscape of mountains and valleys speckled with glittering stars, but it is actually the edge of a nearby, young, star-forming region called NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula, showing previously invisible areas of star birth.

A short film by ScienceWorks Science Advisory Board members delving into the JWST mission will play in the Science Theater. Visitors may also interact with a tactile image of the Pillars of Creation, towers of interstellar dust and gas in the Eagle Nebula, modeled on a photograph taken from the Hubble Space Telescope. Humans have been watching the night sky since ancient times, and now will have an opportunity to learn more about this ambitious and historic research project that views the origins of our universe. The event is intended to be fun, exciting, and inspirational for all ages.

The weekend is part of many space-themed activities taking place at ScienceWorks, including two weeks of “Space Camps.” The first week is fully booked, but some seats are still available for week two, which will run Aug. 1-5 at ScienceWorks. Young space enthusiasts aged 5 to 11 years old will make rockets, design and test landing modules, throw a birthday party for the Mars Rovers, design missions to investigate exoplanets, and more. Camp registration is $350, and a 15% discount is available when booking multiple camps. 

For more information, visit scienceworksmuseum.org/camps/, email education@scienceworksmuseum.org or call 541-482-6767. Older space enthusiasts interested in volunteering at camps or taking part in building future exhibits can email volunteers@scienceworksmuseum.org.

“This is a thrilling time in human history, and the ScienceWorks Team is proud to facilitate public access to and understanding of one of the most exciting scientific breakthroughs of the 21st century,” said Aaron Moffatt, the museum’s interim executive director. “We look forward to exploring the universe together.”

Source: ScienceWorks news release. Email Ashland.news Executive Editor Bert Etling at betling@ashland.news or call or text him at 541-631-1313.

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.
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