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Cosmic Time Machines: The Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes

Drs. Jonathan Gardner and Jennifer Wiseman from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center discuss the science of Hubble and James Webb telescopes.

About this event

Since its launch and deployment by the space shuttle Discovery in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has revolutionized astronomy with its crystal-clear view of the universe. Scientists have used Hubble to observe some of the most distant stars and galaxies yet seen, as well as the planets in the solar system.


Scheduled for launch on October 31, 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope will be the largest, most powerful, and complex space telescope ever built. It will be the premier space observatory for astronomers worldwide with the power to fundamentally alter the understanding of the universe. The Webb will be an orbiting infrared observatory that will complement and extend the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope with longer wavelength coverage and greatly improved sensitivity, which will enable the telescope to look much closer to the beginning of time and to hunt for the unobserved formation of the first galaxies where stars and planetary systems are forming today.


Join Drs. Jonathan Gardner and Jennifer Wiseman from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center for an inside’s look at the scientific legacy of Hubble and the future possibilities of the James Webb.

Dr. Jonathan Gardner is the Deputy Senior Project Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope and also serves as the Chief of the Laboratory for Observational Cosmology in the Astrophysics Science Division of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He has worked at Goddard since 1996, except for a brief term as a Program Scientist at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. in 2004. He earned a BS in astronomy and astrophysics from Harvard University and a PhD in astronomy from the University of Hawaii.


Dr. Jennifer Wiseman is a senior astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where she serves as the Senior Project Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope. Her primary responsibility is to ensure that the Hubble mission is as scientifically productive as possible. Previously, Wiseman headed Goddard’s Laboratory for Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics. She started her career at NASA in 2003 as the program scientist for Hubble and several other astrophysics missions at NASA Headquarters. As an undergraduate, Wiseman studied physics at MIT, where she discovered the comet 114P/Wiseman-Skiff. She then earned a PhD in astronomy at Harvard University, and continued her research as a Jansky Fellow at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and as a Hubble Fellow at The Johns Hopkins University.

Accessing the Program

This free, online program will take place via Zoom. Registration is currently open and will remain open until the event has ended. Your link to join the program will be included in the confirmation email and on the confirmation screen after you complete your registration.

The Linda Hall Library encourages people of all backgrounds and abilities to enjoy the public programs. Closed captions are provided. If you require additional reasonable accommodations in order to participate, please contact events@lindahall.org or call 816.926.8753 at least 24 hours in advance of the program.

Once you register for this event, you will receive email communications from the Linda Hall Library and the Linda Hall Library Foundation. You may choose to opt out of these communications at any time. Your contact information will not be sold or provided to any third parties.

The program will also be livestreamed on the Library’s Facebook page.

This program is funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Its content is solely the responsibility of the Linda Hall Library.

Upcoming Dates

  • Thursday, September 9, 2021, 8:00 - 9:00 pm