GREEN The Greenup County Public Library in downtown Greenup held its first joint tour with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) on Saturday, allowing the public access to images taken by the James Webb Space Telescope.
“We are one of only 600 observation sites in the United States,” said James Meadows of the Greenup Library. “Now we will show any NASA event that they decide needs to be publicly viewed.”
Meadows said the event also ties in with the relaunch of Greenup Library’s mobile planetarium.
For information about the Webb telescope, see webb.nasa.gov, and Meadows said the new space telescope was designed with innovative technologies to replace the Hubble telescope.
The project that resulted in the new telescope was a joint effort between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Goddard Space Flight Center was responsible for overall project management, mission systems engineering, integrated scientific instrument module development, and telescope and instrument performance verification. Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems was the contractor for the observatory, and the University of Arizona and Lockheed Martin were responsible for supplying the US instrument.
“The launch of the James Webb Space Telescope took place on Christmas Day 2021,” Meadows said. “We are fully deployed and approaching the orbit called L2. That will be a million miles from Earth. Technically, it replaces Hubble. And we are optimistic about the new telescope that will bring us 20 years of research.”
For perspective, Meadows said Hubble can be compared to the original iPhone, which was an amazing product when it first launched. The James Webb Space Telescope can be compared to the newer generation, the iPhone 13.
Meadows said affiliation with NASA will enable the Greenup Library to help all generations of residents in the region experience space in ways comparable to those generations that experienced the original “space boom,” when countries around the world were first Race towards space.
“I want to share this passion for space with people and let them know it’s still very important,” Meadows said.
NASA affiliation and the mobile planetarium are amazing tools for giving people information, Meadows said.
“I want people to be informed,” he said, adding that an informed person is better able to make their own decisions and argue more clearly.
“I don’t want everyone to just agree with me,” Meadows said, “because we can disagree and still like each other. I just want to give people the information to make their arguments better.”
The mobile planetarium will be a wonderful tool for that, Meadows said.
“We also hope to use the planetarium for things other than improving our knowledge of space,” Meadows said.
In the future, the Greenup County Library hopes to use the mobile planetarium for remote-viewing events in other countries, which will expand the knowledge of students and local residents not only about space but also about the world outside of their own communities.
For more information on NASA events and the Greenup Mobile Planetarium, visit youseemore.com/greenup.