Dinner Meeting: NASA's New Space Telescope Powerhouse - JWST
Guest Speaker: Professor Kristen McQuinn, Rutgers University (see more info below)
5:00pm Sign in, Wine and Cheese
Parking: Parking will be available in lots 25 and 5.
Abstract: JWST, the most powerful and complex telescope ever designed for space, was successfully launched and deployed by NASA after 30 years in development. JWST is, in part, a successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, but is unique in its infrared wavelength coverage, high resolution, unmatched sensitivity, and the advanced suite of instruments it carries. JWST's mission is broad: its science goals range from exploring the first galaxies in the distant universe to looking for bio-signatures in the atmospheres of extra-solar planets. The astronomy community awaited the launch with bated breath, and our excitement over the successful deployment and first wave of data cannot be overstated.
In this talk, Prof. McQuinn will highlight the overall science objectives of the new telescope, and showcase first results from JWST programs that she is involved in which imaged galaxies in the nearby universe.
About Professor McQuinn
Kristen McQuinn is currently an Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University. Kristen's undergraduate work was in Mechanical Engineering and she spent 10 years in business before returning to academics to study astronomy. She received her PhD in astrophysics from the University of Minnesota and was then part of the Research Faculty at the University of Texas at Austin prior to joining Rutgers.
Kristen's science interests are focused on the formation and history of low-mass or `dwarf' galaxies, and what such galaxies can tell us about the history of the universe. Much of her work focuses on systems in the local universe; because of their proximity, nearby galaxies give us a detailed window into their history, acting like archeological time capsules.
She is a leader for one of 13 specially selected JWST programs to showcase the early science of the telescope, and is the principal investigator of 2 programs getting data in the first full cycle of telescope operations.