Mars Hill Quick Report: July 11-17
Welcome back to the Mars Hill Quick Report, a bite-sized weekly news update from Lowell Observatory! Each week, we’ll give you the short version of upcoming events at Lowell and beyond, plus a little dash of history.
☆ Tuesday, July 12
First images from the James Webb Space Telescope set to be released to the public
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was launched on December 25, 2021. To date, it’s the most powerful telescope to ever be launched into space. It was primarily designed to conduct infrared astronomy, and its greatly improved infrared resolution and sensitivity will allow it to view objects that were too old, distant, or faint for the Hubble Space Telescope to capture. The first images taken by the JWST are set to be released to the public by NASA on July 12. We can’t wait to see the detail that these new images will reveal!
New Star Stuff episode: “How the James Webb Space Telescope Will Change the Way We Look at the Cosmos”
In this very special episode of Star Stuff, the crew sits down with NAU assistant professor Dr. Cristina Thomas to discuss the ways in which the James Webb Space Telescope will alter our perception of the cosmos forever. As a major contributor to the JWST mission, Dr. Thomas brings some insider insight to what we can look forward to in not just the JWST’s future, but in the future of space travel at large.
About Dr. Thomas: Dr. Cristina Thomas has been named an Emerging Scholar in the January 2020 issue of leading education magazine “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.” Her research focuses on the study of asteroids, particularly those that present a risk of impacting the Earth. Thomas has nearly $2.5 million in active grants from NASA, which is considered incredibly high for a junior researcher in this field. She is also a Guaranteed Time Observer for NASA’s recently launched James Webb Space Telescope, which is an acknowledgement of the contributions that she made to the development of the mission.
You can listen to Star Stuff on all major platforms, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Stitcher!
This Week in History
☆ July 14, 1965
Mariner 4 flies by Mars
Mariner 4 was the fourth in a series of spacecraft designed to explore planets by flying by them and gathering data. It was launched from Cape Canaveral in Brevard County, Florida on November 28, 1964, and flew by Mars nearly a year later on July 14, 1965. During the flyby, the craft took the first-ever closeup photos of the Martian surface, which revealed a cratered world that appeared to be devoid of any signs of life. These images significantly shifted the scientific community’s perception of life on Mars, which had previously been considered a possibility.
Mariner 4 | NASA