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San Juan Stargazers to learn about James Webb Infrared Telescope

By Joan Mieritz
Special to The PREVIEW

Photo courtesy Joan Mieritz Join members of the San Juan Stargazers Sept. 19 as they hear guest speaker Bob Mitchell discuss his work on the James D. Webb Infrared Space Telescope, which will be launched in 2018.

Photo courtesy Joan Mieritz
Join members of the San Juan Stargazers Sept. 19 as they hear guest speaker Bob Mitchell discuss his work on the James D. Webb Infrared Space Telescope, which will be launched in 2018.

The Sept. 19 meeting of the San Juan Stargazers will feature a guest speaker, Pagosan Bob Mitchell, who will discuss his work on the James D. Webb Infrared Space Telescope, which will be launched in 2018.

The telescope promises to greatly increase our knowledge of the universe. Until around 400 million years after the Big Bang, the universe was a very dark place.  There were no stars, and there were no galaxies. Scientists would like to unravel the story of exactly what happened after the Big Bang.  The James Webb Space Telescope will pierce this veil of mystery and reveal the story of the formation of the first stars and galaxies in the universe. The large telescope will orbit one million miles from Earth and will have some capability in the visible range.

The meeting will take place at the Chamber of Commerce Conference Room at the Visitor Center on Hot Springs Boulevard. Decaf coffee is served.

Members will start planning two service projects for the community — one providing viewing of a comet in November. No one can be sure how spectacular it will be, but club members will make sure everyone who is interested gets an opportunity for the best view possible.

Anyone interested in astronomy is invited to club meetings, as are out-of-town visitors.

The San Juan Stargazers are part of the Astronomical League, which includes clubs from all over the U.S.

The club has a website, www.SanJuanStargazers.com, as well as an e-mail address, sjstargazers@gmail.com, and a club phone number (970) 335-8286 to help communicate with the public.

This story was posted on September 12, 2013.