We Grandparents Have the Opportunity To Expand the Universe For Us and Our Grandchildren By Sharing the Journey of the Miraculous Space Marvel, The Webb Telescope, and Its Discoveries To Come

Grandparents can open grandchildren’s eyes to marvels of the world and expand their horizons, and in this case expand the universe for them. We have that opportunity before us now.  PopPop and I were introduced to the twenty-five year work on the Webb Telescope’s creation on the television program, Sixty Minutes, “Looking Back in Time With the James Webb Space Telescope.”

Even for us Boomer grandparents alone, it is worth watching the approximately thirteen minute segment which aired December 12, 2021, on CBS, and is available on line.

Scott Pelley’s reporting on the James Webb Space Telescope, then due to launch December 22, kept our attention and put PopPop and I on the edge of our seats. We trusted it would launch but the details of the giant telescope mirror’s opening in space and the success of the first part of the mission was questionable to us. You will see why.  The short segment is one to watch with grandchildren.

If they were not interested in space before, the grandchildren will be now with the promise of the discoveries by the James Webb Space Telescope.

As described on Wikipedia,The James Webb Space Telescope is a space telescope developed by NASA with contributions from the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency. The telescope is named after James E. Webb, who was the administrator of NASA from 1961 to 1968 and played an integral role in the Apollo program.” Its cost is $10 billion.

As described on the NASA website

which provides more information about everything dealing with the Webb telescope for those interested in the details:

“The Webb telescope will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous` glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System. . . .Several innovative technologies have been developed for Webb. These include a primary mirror made of 18 separate segments that unfold and adjust to shape after launch. The mirrors are made of ultra-lightweight beryllium. Webb’s biggest feature is a tennis court sized five-layer sunshield that attenuates heat from the Sun more than a million times.”

And just several days ago, the telescope’s mirrors opened as intended to catch even the faintest signals from space!

Scientists hope that the telescope will be able to see the universe’s first galaxies and stars and hopefully, provide us with answers to the mysteries of our universe.

Wow!

NASA has a website for us to track the path of the Webb telescope.

Astrophysicist Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy will stream live telescope views of the James Webb Space Telescope, sponsored by space.com. You can watch the webcast live on YouTube.

Then, of course, January 8, 2022, Science Daily provided us with the NASA study, “NASA’s Webb Telescope reaches major milestone as mirror unfolds.”

Science Daily confirmed in its Summary:

“NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope team fully deployed its 21-foot, gold-coated primary mirror, successfully completing the final stage of all major spacecraft deployments to prepare for science operations.”  Through the study, we learn how the Webb team began remotely unfolding the hexagonal segments of the primary mirror, the largest ever launched into space:

“The world’s largest and most complex space science telescope will now begin moving its 18 primary mirror segments to align the telescope optics…. to peer back over 13.5 billion years to capture infrared light from celestial objects, with much higher resolution than ever before, and to study our own solar system as well as distant worlds.”

Maybe this will motivate our grandchildren to consider becoming space scientists, astrophysicists, or astronomers, and at least increase their knowledge of space, terms and vocabulary related to space, planets, and space travel

This is history in the making for us, our children, and our grandchildren of all ages, a much more positive and exciting distraction now and in the months and years to come for us and our grandchildren than what is happening on our planet Earth with COVID.  We grandparents can hope that watching what unfolds with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope in the next decade brings us miraculous answers to the creation of the universe, and COVID will have been a distant memory.

 

Joy,

 

Mema

 

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