Place: 4421 Sterling Hall, Coffee and Cookies 3:30 pm. Talk begins at 3:45 PM
Speaker: Dr. Ken Sembach, Director, STSci
Abstract: NASA’s Great Observatories have revolutionized our understanding of the Universe. The James Webb Space Telescope will continue this legacy, and together with the Hubble Space Telescope and Wide-Field Infrared Telescope will usher in an era of unprecedented information about astronomical objects ranging from Solar System objects to the first stars and galaxies formed near the beginning of time. As we continue to explore, new questions arise. Are there Earth-like planets orbiting other stars, and if so are they capable of supporting life? What secrets does the ultra-faint universe hide from our view? What is the nature of dark matter and dark energy? Future flagship missions offer great promise for answering such questions. In this talk, I’ll offer some perspectives, both scientific and programmatic, on possible paths forward and the importance of truly ambitious space observatories to the future of astrophysics research.