‘JWST: Shedding Light on Our Cosmic Origins’—December 11

James Webb Space Telescope (photo courtesy of NASA/Chris Gunn)

Sam Miller

The SaddleBrooke Skygazers Astronomy Club is pleased to host Charity Woodrum, a PhD candidate and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory, on Sunday, Dec. 11, at the DesertView Theater, 39900 S. Clubhouse Drive, at 7 p.m. Charity will discuss humanity’s most powerful space telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The mission of JWST is to study the first stars and galaxies in the early Universe, the formation and evolution of galaxies across cosmic time, the birth of stars and protoplanetary systems, and the atmospheres of exoplanets. In her presentation, she will discuss these science goals, as well as JWST’s journey to space, the first images that have been released, and the early scientific results that have been submitted for publication thus far.

Woodrum graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Oregon in 2018. She now has her Master of Science degree in Astronomy & Astrophysics from the University of Arizona where she is also finishing her PhD in the same subject. She is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and works with Professor Marcia Rieke as part of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Near-IR Camera (NIRCam) science team. Woodrum’s research uses the Universe as a time machine to tell the story of how galaxies evolve over cosmic time. More specifically, she uses observations of galaxies to study their star formation and chemical enrichment histories.

The SaddleBrooke Skygazers Astronomy Club meets monthly (and typically) on the second Sunday evening (7 p.m.) at the DesertView Theater. The winter Star Parties are scheduled on Tuesday, Dec. 20 (last opportunity to view Saturn); Tuesday, Jan. 24 (last opportunity to view Jupiter); and Wednesday, Feb. 22, at the softball field parking lot. The public is welcome to both meetings and Star Parties. Club and Star Party information can be obtained by emailing David Evans at [email protected].