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Join astronaut Jeff Hoffman and a panel of expert speakers to hear about Hubble’s legacy and discuss the exciting launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.


This event was part of the Royal Society's post Summer Science series of events. To explore more of the Summer Science on demand programme explore the interactive hub, catch up on the Royal Society's YouTube channel or visit the Hubble's legacy  Summer Science content to create a space image, try out the telescope simulator and understand how Hubble has transformed our view of the Universe.

Over the past thirty years, the Hubble Space Telescope has provided the research community with an unprecedented access to the workings of the Universe. As a result of the observations made with this telescope, researchers have gathered new data about the age of the Universe, discovered new moons in the Solar System and determined the rate at which the Universe is expanding.

In December 2021, a joint venture between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency will launch the James Webb Space Telescope, a new orbiting telescope that will complement the discoveries of Hubble. Providing researchers with a new infra-red vision of the Universe, the James Webb Space Telescope will enable us to image exoplanets, see through dust into star-nurseries and look back in time to the very first stars and galaxies. Researchers hope that the telescope will provide new information on the formation of the Universe as well as data on how galaxies currently form. 

Astronaut Jeff Hoffman and a panel of expert speakers delved into Hubble’s legacy and discussed the exciting launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. The event explored what we currently know about the Universe and looked backwards into how it was formed with contributions from experts in astrophysics, astronomy and exoplanetary science. 

Speakers included:

  • Professor Catherine Heymans, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh and Astronomer Royal for Scotland (Host)
  • Professor James Dunlop FRS, Professor of Extragalactic Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Jeffrey Hoffman, Hubble astronaut and Professor of the Practice of Aerospace Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Professor Gillian Wright, Director of the UK Astronomy Technology Centre and European Principal Investigator for the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) for James Webb Space Telescope
  • Dr Stephen Wilkins, Head of Astronomy, Director of Outreach and Public Engagement, Reader in Astronomy at the University of Sussex

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