Bryce Canyon celebrates NASA launch of ‘largest, most complex telescope’ ever built

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James Webb Space Telescope (Courtesy of NASA)

BRYCE CANYON, Utah (ABC4) – Bryce Canyon National Park has been selected to host a NASA event celebrating the launch of the world’s largest and most complex telescope ever built.

On November 6, the national park will be hosting a day of astronomy programs to celebrate the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), what NASA officials are describing as the “premier observatory of the next decade.”

“We are thrilled that Bryce Canyon is an official host site for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope launch community events,” said superintendent Jim Ireland. “Parks like Bryce Canyon are places of learning and discovery, and this mission promises to fundamentally change our understanding of the universe for this generation and many to come.”

Planned activities during the launch event include STEAM-enriching (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) activities for all visitors covering the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. A member of the JWST Science Team will be offering insight into how the new telescope will further scientific research. Visitors will also be treated to a nighttime telescope viewing depending on the weather.

“The observatory will provide a new view of the cosmos and push the field of astronomy into a new era,” officials say. “The telescope will observe the universe in the infrared, peering inside dust clouds to study light from distant parts of the universe for the very first time – the first galaxies that formed about 13.5 billion years ago – and give us insight into how our universe formed. It will also explore distant worlds in other solar systems, as well as objects in our own solar system. Webb will extend the scientific discoveries of other NASA missions like the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory, and Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.”

The telescope will be launched into space in an international mission led by NASA in partnership with the Canadian and European space agencies. The launch will be held in December 2021.

For full event info with times and planned activities, click here.

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