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The James Webb Space Telescope: Our Giant Eye on the Invisible Sky

Pillars of Creation in the Infrared from the Webb Telescope

The early images from the James Webb Space Telescope have been applauded by scientists, the media, and the public.  But there is far more to our expectations from this remarkable space instrument than just pretty pictures.  In this introductory talk, astronomer and educator Andrew Fraknoi explains what makes the Webb a truly pioneering instrument, what the early images actually show, and what scientists expect the telescope to accomplish in years to come.  In the process, he discusses how the Webb observes an “invisible universe” of infrared rays, and what astronomers are hoping to learn from it about “cosmic evolution” -- the birth and death of stars, planets, and galaxies.  No background in science is required to understand this program.

Speaker: Andrew Fraknoi teaches astronomy and physics at the Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at SF State University.  He is the lead author of the most frequently used introductory astronomy textbook in the country, Astronomy, published online by the nonprofit OpenStax project; Gerald Harris, Commonwealth Club, Moderator

Attend in person or online.

Use discount code Wonderfest2022 for a $10 discount


Wednesday, 11/30/22


Commonwealth Club

Website: Click to Visit


$20 live/$10 online General

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Commonwealth Club

110 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105