“Will the James Webb Telescope See God?” A CASIRAS Webinar with Heidi B. Hammel
CASIRIAS webinar on December 1, 5:00-6:30 p.m. The title of this talk was a question asked of Heidi B. Hammel in a recent interview with a major broadcast network and in this presentation her explanation of what is the James Webb Space Telescope [NASA’s “next great observatory”], how it differs from the Hubble Space Telescope, and what and how it will “see” the cosmos will be framed by that question. As to whether Webb will see God, Hammel provides her take on this question. Having worked with NASA on this project for more than 20 years as an interdisciplinary scientist, she looks forward to finally begin using Webb to explore objects throughout our Solar System.
Dr. Heidi B. Hammel received her undergraduate degree from MIT and her Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii. She is currently the Vice President for Science at AURA, a consortium that operates large astronomical observatories, including the Hubble Space Telescope, Gemini Observatory, and many more. Dr. Hammel primarily studies outer planets; she served on the imaging team for the Voyager 2 Neptune encounter and has studied Uranus and Neptune extensively with Hubble and other facilities. She is an Interdisciplinary Scientist for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and plans to use her guaranteed observing time to study a diverse array of Solar System targets including the outer planets. She has been recognized for both her science and her work in public outreach, including the Sagan Medal and the San Francisco Exploratorium’s Public Understanding of Science Award. Last year she received the American Astronomical Society’s Masursky Award for outstanding service to planetary science and exploration. Asteroid “1981 EC20” was renamed 3530 Hammel in her honor.