June 7, 2017, 3:30 p.m.
Building 34, Room W150 -
PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF LOCATION DUE TO RENOVATION OF
BUILDING 3 AUDITORIUM and unavailability of Building 8.
GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT
"Future Science, Brilliant Engineering, for James
Webb Space Telescope"
NASA’s James Webb Space
Telescope (JWST), planned for launch in October 2018, utilizes
high performance imaging optics to see beyond what the great
Hubble Space Telescope can see, farther away and farther back in
time. It will be the workhorse telescope for a generation of
space astronomers, opening the infrared (0.6-28 µm) window with
a 6.6 m aperture cold telescope. To test it end-to-end, we have
developed remarkable laser interferometer technologies, with
computer-generated holograms to test the primary mirror, and it
must all be done cold and in a vacuum tank. I will outline the
mission design, the scientific objectives, and the current
About the Speaker:
Dr. John C. Mather is a Senior Astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard
Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where he specializes
in infrared astronomy and cosmology. He received his Bachelor’s
degree in physics at Swarthmore College and his PhD in physics
at the University of California at Berkeley.
As an NRC postdoctoral fellow at the Goddard Institute for Space
Studies (New York City), he led the proposal efforts for the
Cosmic Background Explorer (74-76), and came to GSFC to be the
Study Scientist (76-88), Project Scientist (88-98), and the
Principal Investigator for the Far IR Absolute Spectrophotometer
(FIRAS) on COBE. He and his team showed that the cosmic
microwave background radiation has a blackbody spectrum within
50 parts per million, confirming the Big Bang theory to
extraordinary accuracy. The COBE team also discovered the cosmic
anisotropy (hot and cold spots in the background radiation), now
believed to be the primordial seeds that led to the structure of
the universe today. It was these findings that led to Dr. Mather
receiving the Nobel Prize in 2006.
Dr. Mather now serves as Senior Project Scientist for the James
Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the great Hubble Space
Return to Schedule