“JWST – what’s all the fuss?”, Dr Niall Smith, 12 Sept 2022

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is on the lips of every astronomer.  Dr Niall Smith of MTU and the brains behind Cork’s Blackrock Castle Observatory told us why.  Launched on Christmas Day 2021 JWST is sending back images of the universe in previously unimaginable detail.  Crucially this telescope observes in the infrared, which is necessary when observing the early universe. Early means far away and moving fast from us, thus extremely red-shifted, hence undetectible in the visible spectrum where the Hubble Space Telescope operates. JWST will supply new information about the early universe, indeed already has done, which will change our knowledge of how it all began and where it’s headed.  

Left, the galaxy group Stephan’s Quintet captured by Webb in never-before-seen detail.
And right, Dr Naill Smith with his brainchild, Blackrock Castle Observatory

One of our favourite speakers,  we were delighted to welcome Niall to launch our new season of monthly lectures,  which after a long Covid-induced absence, will once again be held in our old home of University College Cork’s Civil Engineering building.   

The lecture was live streamed over Zoom.

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