On Tuesday, July 12, Science Museum Oklahoma will celebrate the release of the greatly anticipated first images from the James Webb Space Telescope.

Science Museum Oklahoma is among the limited number of institutions selected by NASA to receive and share the initial images from the telescope, nicknamed “Webb” by NASA. The images are expected to be released at approximately 9:30 a.m. CST and will be livestreamed both on Science Museum Oklahoma’s website at www.smo.org and on its social media @sciencemuseumok.

The James Webb Space Telescope is the largest and most powerful space telescope ever constructed and will provide the first glimpses of the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe, looking back in time over 13.5 billion years. Ultraviolet and visible light emitted by those very first objects has been stretched or “redshifted” by the universe’s continual expansion and arrives today as infrared light. Webb is designed to “see” this infrared light with unprecedented resolution and sensitivity.

How powerful is the Webb Telescope? “Webb can detect the heat of a bumblebee as far away as the moon,” according to John Mather, Senior Project Scientist.  

Webb will also be used to study planets and other bodies within the solar system to help scientists determine their origin and evolution as well as compare them with exoplanets, planets that orbit other stars.

In addition to releasing images July 12, Science Museum Oklahoma will host multiple events in July highlighting astronomy and the James Webb Space Telescope.  

On Saturday, July 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the museum will feature special activities exploring visible light as well astronomy-themed art projects. At 2:30 p.m. the museum will broadcast “NASA Science Live”, a live panel discussion with NASA experts who will discuss the importance of the James Webb Space Telescope, explain its recent findings, respond to questions and talk about what this scientific breakthrough means for the future of space exploration. All activities are included with general admission.

On Thursday, July 28, at 8:30 p.m. CST the museum will host “A Celebration of Space Under the Stars” in the museum's parking lot. Experts will be on hand with telescopes to give guests a guided tour of the night sky. Participants are encouraged to bring their own telescopes to the event as well. This event is open to the public and free to attend. More information about the event will be available closer to the event date.

For more information about Science Museum Oklahoma and the events mentioned, visit: https://www.smo.org

Science Museum Oklahoma is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Daily general admission is $18.95 for adults (ages 13 to 64) and $14.95 for children (ages 3 to 12) and seniors (65 and older). Annual memberships begin at $115.

About Science Museum Oklahoma
Science Museum Oklahoma is the only hands-on science museum in Oklahoma and, with more than 390,000 square feet, one of the largest science museums in the nation. With a mission of enriching lives by revealing the wonder and relevance of science, Science Museum Oklahoma demonstrates the relationship between the physical sciences and everyday experiences. The museum influences how Oklahomans learn about science through the medium of interactive exhibits, discovery-based activities, astronomy shows, Science Live demonstrations, educational outreach efforts and special events. The museum’s clear mission and firm focus on science literacy encourage families to develop and build upon a strong foundation in the sciences.