The James Webb Space Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope(JWST) has to count as one of the greatest advances in science in 2022. NASA’s giant infrared observatory in the sky is now sending images back to earth. This new perspective on the cosmos revealed unprecedented detail of distant galaxies and the far reaches of space, “the deepest view of the universe ever,” according to Thomas Zurbuchen of NASA. This amazing artifact of human engineering opens up the universe for further scientific investigation and opens up new worlds in our imaginations.
Dramatic advances in scientific discover often follow the development of new, more powerful tools of observation. Galileo directed his telescope toward our largest planets and discovered four moons of Jupiter. Van Leeuwenhoek turned his microscope on scraping from his teeth and discovered bacteria. This list is long.
NASA will share JWST data with citizen scientists in this coming year. I hope this unlocks the creative energy and investigative talents of students around the world, like 16-year-old Kartik Pingle and 18-year-old Jasmine Wright, who each discovered exoplanets.
Read more about young scientists and engineers in my new book Teen Innovators: Nine Young People Engineering a Better World with Creative Inventions.