UPLINK 49: JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE: ORIGINS

Join us on Thursday 3rd June for Uplink 49 with John Mather, NASA Senior Project Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and Ewine van Dishoeck, a senior member of the JWST MIRI team. A joint mission of NASA, ESA, and CSA, the JWST is the most powerful space telescope ever built and is scheduled for launch later this year on an Ariane 5 from Kourou. We’ll be live at 8pm BST / 9pm CEST / 3pm EDT. Set yourself a reminder here.

 

John Mather was the winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physics, sharing the prize with George F. Smoot of the University of California, for their work using the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite to measure heat radiation to confirm the Big Bang theory to extraordinary accuracy. John currently works for NASA as a senior astrophysicist in the Observational Cosmology Laboratory at the Goddard Space Flight Center, his work focusing on infrared astronomy and cosmology. As Senior Project Scientist for the Webb telescope, Mather leads the science team and represents scientific interests within the project. As a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, John led the proposal efforts for COBE (1974–76). He worked as Study Scientist (1976–88), Project Scientist (1988–98), and also the Principal Investigator for the mission’s Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS). He has served on advisory and working groups for the National Academy of Sciences, NASA, and the National Science Foundation for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), and the Center for Astrophysical Research in the Antarctic (CAMA).

 

Ewine van Dishoeck is Professor of Molecular Astrophysics at Leiden Observatory in The Netherlands and the current President of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Ewine is a pioneer of astrochemistry – an overlap of astronomy and chemistry – which is the study of the abundance and reactions of molecules in the Universe, and their interaction with radiation. Her work on interstellar molecules focuses on the physical and chemical evolution during star and planet formation, which necessitates expertise in infrared astronomy. She is a member of the science team for MIRI, the mid-infrared camera/spectrometer that will fly on JWST. Ewine was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society in 1994, the Spinoza Prize (Netherlands) in 2000 and the Bourke Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) in 2001. She is a Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences as well of the United States National Academy of Sciences. In 2013, she became a member of the Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.  She received the Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award (Sweden) in 2014 and the Albert Einstein World Award of Science (Mexico) in 2015. In 2018, Ewine was awarded the James Craig Watson Medal (US) and the Kavli Prize (Norway) for astrophysics. In the same year, she was elected an Honorary Member of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society. She was also elected to the American Philosophical Society and awarded the Prix Jules Janssen in 2020.

 

Join us on Thursday at 8pm BST / 9pm CEST / 3pm EDT to watch and join in at our Youtube channel. You can also catch past episodes of Uplink and subscribe for news about forthcoming editions. Don’t forget you can also sign up to our new weekly newsletter MISSION UPDATE right here!