Television: The JWST on NOVA, Again

Credit: PBS

NOVA has a new episode this season on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Unlike last season’s episode, Ultimate Space Telescope, which discussed the creation, launch, and early success of the space telescope, this episode, New Eye on the Universe, goes deeper into the goals of the space telescope as well as the findings since the first images appeared.

Here is a list of the topics covered in the latest episode (and their spot on the recording):

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 04:11 The James Webb Space Telescope’s First Images
  • 05:47 Searching for Life on Exoplanets: Are We Alone in the Universe?
  • 14:40 Looking for Life in Our Own Solar System: Moons of Jupiter and Saturn
  • 18:52 Adjusting New Images from JWST: Science Meets Art
  • 23:55 Studying Supermassive Black Holes and Merging Galaxies
  • 30:25 Detecting the Oldest Galaxies with the JWST
  • 37:13 Troubleshooting the New Telescope’s Light Measurements
  • 42:12 Detecting the Atmosphere of a Rocky Exoplanet
  • 46:28 Results from the Team’s New Studies
  • 51:05 Conclusion

The section on adjusting the images is interesting in that we would not see these beautiful images as portrayed even if we could fly though space for an up-close look. Our eyes cannot see all of what the JWST can see in infrared. This is further explained in a Scientific American article, “Are the James Webb Space Telescope’s Pictures ‘Real’?

You can watch the latest episode on the PBS internet site, your local PBS station, or YouTube.