Pena Planetarium to display first images from NASA’s newest telescope

The Planetarium and Science Center to feature a display on first-released images from NASA’s James Webb Telescope

TULARE COUNTY – A display will be held at the Pena Planetarium to give inquiring minds a first look at the highly-detailed images from NASA’s most recently launched James Webb Telescope.

Following NASA’s report about the release of the James Webb Telescope’s first full color image, the Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) Planetarium and Science Center will feature a display revealing the first images in a gallery-style exhibition. NASA Solar System Ambassador Craig Alameda will be in attendance to answer questions.

The James Webb Telescope is a large infrared telescope, the largest and most powerful space telescope ever constructed. According to the NASA website, it was formerly known as the “Next Generation Space Telescope” (NGST) but was renamed in September 2002 after former NASA administrator James Webb. 

It was launched in 2021 on Dec. 25. The telescope is made to study every phase of history within the universe, ranging from the first signs of light in the universal void following the Big Bang to the formation of solar systems capable of sustaining life, including our own solar system.

According to a TCOE press release, Webb will also examine exoplanets located in the inhabitable zones of these solar systems, regions where planets can harbor liquid water on surfaces and determine if/where signatures of habitability may be present.

The exhibition is included with admission to the Friday, July 15 planetarium show “Two Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing Telescope” at 5pm. According to the TCOE website, the show is 39 minutes long and is suggested for people aged seven and up. 

Visitors of the planetarium can learn about the history and science behind telescopes in the showing of “Two Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing Telescope” and get hands-on experience with science through activities/crafts for scientists of all ages.

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