The James Webb Space Telescope:

New Views of the Cosmos


Dr. Heidi B. Hammel

Interdisciplinary Scientist on the James Webb Telescope Project, NASA

On Christmas Day 2021, the JWST was launched to the Sun-Earth Lagrange 2 point. After many months of optical commissioning and fine-tuning, the first images were released to the world in July 2022. State Department Photo of Ted OsiusThe powerful infrared capability of JWST revealed new vistas, from nearby in our galaxy out to the edge of the Universe. In the subsequent weeks, a steady stream of new data has enthralled astronomers and intrigued the public.

Please join the MIT Club of Washington DC and the ColumbiaDC at our hybrid event. We welcome Dr. Heidi Hammel, one of six Interdisciplinary Scientists advising the program since James Webb Space Telescope’s formal start in 2002, to Busboys and Poets K Street, or online, where Dr. Hammel will explain why JWST was built, how this new facility is revolutionary for astrophysics, and share the latest results from JWST, including public highlights as well as results from her own science program to explore the Solar System with JWST. There also will be a live stream (virtual option).

This event is run by the MIT Club of Washington, DC

***ColumbiaDC members get a %20 discount. For the Promo Code, please email [email protected] before purchasing your ticket.

Click here to buy tickets!!!

Tickets include a light meal with soft drinks:

Busboys House (Vegan/Gluten-Free) - mixed greens, carrot, tomatoes, roasted corn, yuzu vinaigrette

Cup of Seasonal Soup

:: CHOICE OF SANDWICH (all sandwiches served with kettle chips) ::

• Falafel Wrap (Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten-Free Friendly)roasted beet hummus, cucumbers, LTO, tahini sauce, wrapped in flour tortilla (vegan without tahini sauce, Gluten-Free Friendly tortilla available)

• Roasted Turkey Sandwich with tomato, onion, lettuce, provolone cheese, harissa aioli, levain bread

• Fried Chicken Sandwich cage-free, veg-fed chicken, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles, serrano pepper aioli, brioche bun

• Avocado Panini (Vegetarian) with vegan mozzarella, arugula, roasted red pepper on multi-grain bread

Assorted Cookies (family-style)

Fountain Drinks (unlimited soft drinks and iced tea)

Masks must also be worn properly (covering nose and mouth) at all times inside of Busboys and Poets when not actively eating or drinking.

State Department Photo of Ted OsiusDr. Heidi B. Hammel is an Interdisciplinary Scientist on the James Webb Telescope Project, and her focus is on Webb's theme "Planetary Systems and the Origins of Life." As a planetary astronomer, she has studied our Solar System's outer planets, and their rings and moons, with the Gemini, Hubble, Keck, Spitzer, and other telescopes.

Hammel has extensive experience with Hubble observations of the Solar System. She led the Hubble Team that studied the impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter in July 1994, with a specific focus on Jupiter's atmospheric response to the collisions. Her latest research involves studies of Uranus and Neptune with Hubble and other Earth-based observatories. She's an expert on these distant planets, and she was a member of the Imaging Science Team for the Voyager 2 encounter with Neptune in 1989. Hammel has been part of a team working to launch a mission to the outer solar system sometime in the next decade. In 2020, she was awarded the Masursky Award of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences (AAS/DPS) for her service to the planetary science community.

She received her undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1982 and her Ph.D. in physics and astronomy from the University of Hawaii in 1988. After a post-doctoral position at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., Hammel returned to MIT, where she spent nearly nine years as a Principal Research Scientist in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. She received the 1996 Urey Prize from the American Astronomical Society for her outstanding achievement in planetary science. She joined Space Science Institute in 1998, and retains a position there as a Senior Research Scientist. She now serves as the Vice President for Science at AURA.

Hammel is an award-winning communicator of science, having a unique ability to communicate of a range of levels from kindergarten to post-graduate-school nearly simultaneously. She is especially skilled at translating complex science concepts into easy-to-understand language for general audiences. She also has a strong belief in the value of public education, and believes it is one of the most important things a scientist can do. Hammel won the AAS/DPS 2002 Sagan Medal for her outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public, as well as the Public Understanding of Science award from the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California.

Her biography "Beyond Jupiter: The Story of Planetary Astronomer Heidi Hammel" has been published by the National Academy of Sciences as part of the series "Women's Adventures in Science." She was profiled in Newsweek Magazine in 2007.

September 08, 2022 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Busboys and Poets

450 K St NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

Mark Johnston


$45.00 USD

Purchase tickets