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Leading Scientist For James Webb Space Telescope To Speak At Penn State April 8

John Mather, senior project scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope, will be on campus to present the Ronald M. and Susan J. Friedman Endowed Lectureship in Astronomy and Astrophysics at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, in 100 Thomas Building.

Mather will discuss his contributions to the Webb Telescope as part of his talk on campus, including its design, assembly, and some of the scientific advancements spearheaded by himself and his teams that occurred since the James Webb Space Telescope’s launch.

The Webb Space Telescope, launched in December of 2021, has been applauded internationally for its highly detailed photographs of space, many of which were first famously photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope in the 1990s.

Interested attendees are also invited for a meet-and-greet with Mather either before or after his discussion about Webb from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the same day. He will also sign copies of his book, “The Very First Light: The True Inside Story of the Scientific Journey Back to the Dawn of the Universe,” which details the contributions his teams at NASA made in proving the Big Bang Theory in the 1990s that would eventually win him the Nobel Prize in physics in 2006.

The talk is part of a larger event through the Eberly College of Science on campus. Faculty from Penn State’s Eberly College of Science will be present throughout the afternoon to present smaller lectures on their own research regarding other interesting space science. Additionally, the event will have NASA-branded memorabilia to take home.

Mather is currently a senior astrophysicist in the Observational Cosmology Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where his research is specialized in infrared astronomy and cosmology. He received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Swarthmore College and a doctorate in physics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Saturday’s event is open to the public at no cost.

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About the Author

Luke Pieczynski

Luke is a sophomore DUS premajor hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, and is one of Onward State's social media editors. He can often be found in the Starbucks line waiting for a nitro cold brew, or listening to one of Dua Lipa's latest releases. He's a fiercely loyal Sheetz Freak and will not settle for another Pennsylvania gas station. Please send your best political thriller to him on Twitter @lukepie11 or to his email [email protected].

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