James Webb Space Telescope topic of next Astronomy Club meeting on Thursday


James Webb Space Telescope | Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

QUINCY — The Quincy Astronomy Club is presenting a live video talk on how the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is helping to unlock the mysteries of the universe at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26 at John Wood Community College in Room D022/023. 

JWST’s observations of the galaxy cluster G165.7+67.0 and a discovery of a triply imaged Type 1a supernova known as SNH0pe, will help scientists determine the rate of expansion of the universe. The first of a series of papers to study this cluster recently was submitted to the science community.  

The supernova SNH0pe is the highest redshifted supernova that is triply imaged, which means its light has been distorted and magnified by the gravity of galaxy cluster G165. Using these images will lead to greater precision and accuracy in determining the expansion rate of the universe.  

The lecturer will be Reagen Leimbach-Murray, a researcher on the team studying the galaxy cluster and supernova. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in astronomy and physics with a minor in mathematics and a bachelor’s degree in dance. During her undergraduate studies, she participated in research on the evolution of galaxies and stellar formation. Since graduating, she has been working with the PEARLS (Prime Extragalactic Areas for Reionization and Lensing Science) group, studying galaxy lensing and galaxy cluster evolution. She hopes to continue this research into graduate school.

The Astronomy Club was formed by local amateur astronomers and seeks to teach, explore and expand minds about space and the universe. Lectures are held monthly, usually on the last Thursday of the month. The club also holds monthly evening observing sessions. These are scheduled as weather and observing conditions permit. Local amateurs with their telescopes guide the observing sessions.

Lecture room D022/D023 is on the lower north end of JWCC Building D in the rear. Parking is in Lot 4 on the lower level. There is a large clock nearby. Enter through either door C2 or the door marked Paul Heath Building. For more information, contact Susan Asher 217-653-5074 or asherte@yahoo.com.

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