‘Will the James Webb Telescope See God?’ topic of CASIRAS webinar with Heidi Hammel

November 22, 2021

In a Dec. 1 webinar, Heidi Hammel, vice president for science at AURA, a consortium that operates large astronomical observatories, explains what the James Webb Telescope will see, and her take on whether it will see God. This free Zoom webinar is hosted by the Center for Advanced Study in Religion and Science (CASIRAS) and LSTC, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 5-6:30 p.m. CST. Register here to receive the Zoom link. 

James Webb Space Telescope is NASA’s next great observatory, following in the footsteps of the Hubble Space Telescope. Hammel, has been working with NASA on this project for more than 20 years as an interdisciplinary scientist. She will be using Webb to explore objects throughout our solar system. The title of this talk was a question Hammel was asked in a recent interview with a major broadcast network. She will use this question to frame her presentation, starting with what James Webb Space Telescope is (and especially how it differs from Hubble). She will then describe what and how Webb will “see” the cosmos.

About Heidi B. Hammel

Hammel primarily studies outer planets; she served on the imaging team for the Voyager 2 Neptune encounter and has studied Uranus and Neptune extensively with Hubble and other facilities. She is an interdisciplinary scientist for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and plans to use her guaranteed observing time to study a diverse array of solar system targets including the outer planets. She received her undergraduate degree from MIT and her Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii. Hammel has been recognized for both her science and her work in public outreach, including the Sagan Medal and the San Francisco Exploratorium’s Public Understanding of Science Award. Last year she received the American Astronomical Society’s Masursky Award for outstanding service to planetary science and exploration. Asteroid “1981 EC20” was renamed 3530 Hammel in her honor. Learn more about AURA, where she serves a vice president for science. 


CASIRAS is a supporting organization for the Zygon Center for Religion and Science in partnership with LSTC. It also supports Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science in partnership with the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science and the International Society for Science and Religion. Learn more at casiras.org.


David Glover

Administrative Assistant, CASIRAS


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