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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

James Webb Telescope furthers science exploration

Out of this world discoveries shared with SJV Town Hall guest for 87th season opener.
Space Telescope Science Institut

“Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.”~Plato

Seniors Meilani Gilmore and Miracle Neal interview Dr. Amber Straughn at San Joaquin Valley Town Hall, Oct. 18. (The Feather)

NASA astrophysicist Amber Straughn, Ph.D speaks at the 87th San Joaquin Valley Town Hall, Oct. 18. Dr. Straughn presents to the public what eyes and cellphones can not capture of our vast universe. 

Dr. Straughn shared the journey of the James Webb Telescope that that was set to launch October 2021 but was delayed due to technical failures. The telescope officially launched Christmas day 2021 from French Guiana, a European spaceport. Due to the continued delays of the launch date, Straughn traveled home for the holidays and operated the telescope launch from her childhood home in Bee Branch, Arkansas. 

The advanced engineering of the Webb telescope has been in the works for decades even before the famous Hubble telescope made its debut.

 Some of Straughn’s coworkers have worked on Webb telescope for the majority of their careers at NASA putting more than 30 years of time, effort and passion into the telescope’s construction. 

The James Webb telescope stands four stories tall with five sun shields the size of a tennis court. To launch it had to be folded up in the rocket taking 2 1/2 weeks to deploy with 344 single failure points that would have result in mission failure. 

Meilani Gilmore Young

Truly an engineering marvel, the science of the telescope provides images and data to further study distant galaxies, black holes and time. To Dr. Straughn the advent of this telescope and the images that it captures reminds her how “We are viscerally connected to the universe,” we are apart of the universe and we are connected to one another. 

As far as the future of space exploration,” said Straughn. “Wow. It’s fun. It’s bright. We have a lot of fun things going on in NASA. We are actively planning to send people back to the moon in the coming years, which is super exciting. And the moon is a stepping stone to Mars. So we are actively planning, actively building the rockets and the capsules that will eventually take humans to Mars. We hope to have humans on Mars in the 2040s, which is not that far away. So that will happen in your lifetimes as well.”

Space exploration and knowledge continues to grow as new telescopes are designed and manufactured. The Nancy Grace Roman telescope named after American astronomer Nancy Roman, who is considered the “mother of the Hubble” will launch in 2027. This telescope is the first to be named after a female astronomer and will be designed to see the universe on a wider perspective and observe the unknown properties of dark matter. 

To learn more about the Webb telescope purchase NASA’s new book “Inside the Star Factory” by Chris Gunn and Christopher Wanjek, which is now available on Amazon.



Images below from the James Webb Telescope courtesy of their Flicker account

To see more from the James Webb Telescope visit their website and social media. 

To read more from The Feather, visit Movie Review: Barbie breaks box office or 500th career win for Coach Foshee.

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About the Contributors
Miracle Neal
Miracle Neal, Editor in Chief
Second year Feather Veteran, Miracle Neal is a Senior, lifer, and varsity girls soccer captain at Fresno Christian Schools. Neal fully devotes herself to her work, proving to be a hard-working person as she juggles an AP class, college classes at Clovis Community, and playing with the Albion Soccer Club. She continues her journey with The Feather to further develop confidence and people skills she hopes to apply in her future profession as a pediatrician. In her free time, she enjoys indulging in psychology books trying to grasp how her mind and others function.    
Meilani Gilmore Young
Meilani Gilmore Young is a senior at Fresno Christian Schools and the Arts and Entertainment Editor for the Feather Online. She is an avid reader, movie enthusiast, and music fanatic. When she’s not leading the Track and Field team she is planning her next adventure or mapping out her next meal. In the future, Gilmore Young hopes to pursue a career in history and study film. 
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