CWU News

CWU Hosts Virtual Launch Party for New NASA Telescope on Saturday

The Lydig Planetarium in CWU's Discovery Hall.

The Lydig Planetarium in CWU's Discovery Hall.

NASA will unveil its new James Webb Space Telescope during a special Central Washington University launch party on Saturday, December 4, at 10 a.m. via Zoom. The presentation will include a tour of CWU’s Discovery Hall, plus hands-on activities and a lecture by a NASA scientist. 

A tour of CWU’s anechoic chamber, observatory, and 82-seat Lydig Planetarium will start the event, followed by a hands-on activity to create your own telescope.

NASA Scientist Susan Mallally will then present “Infrared Eyes on the Universe with the Webb Space Telescope.” Mallally is among the scientists who will use the data from the telescope to study exoplanets.  

The James Webb Space Telescope is designed to extend the groundbreaking discoveries made by the Hubble Space Telescope. James Webb consists of a larger mirror, more sensitive optics and contains technology that will image in infrared which allows the telescope to look further back in time. The telescope will also be observing a part of space and time that has never been seen before by mankind that contains the very first stars that formed our galaxy. 

If you would like to attend, please register online. Attendees can join the launch party at any time. See the full schedule below for events and times.

  • 10 a.m.: Welcome and department tour 
  • 10:30 a.m.: Hands-on activity
  • 11:20 a.m.: Planetarium show
  • 12:05 p.m.: James Webb trivia 
  • 12:30 p.m.: Presentation by Susan Mullally, NASA scientist

Educators who register for this event can request free James Webb Space Telescope lesson plans and resources for use in their classrooms.

This event is supported by NASA, the Space Telescope Science Institute, and the Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pathways through a NASA-supported grant.

Media contact: Dawn Alford, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1484.