UW grad ushers in “new era of science” with stunning deep space photos
Dr. Ken Sembach is celebrating his team’s latest accomplishment: a clear view of deep space
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -NASA is ushering in a new age of space exploration with new images from deep space sent back to earth from the most powerful telescope ever made – the James Webb telescope.
“It’s mind-boggling, even with astronomers and we deal with big numbers and space every day,” said Dr. Ken Sembach, the Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute. “So, we are trying to get our own heads around this.”
Dr. Sembach is a 1992 graduate of UW-Madison. He spent four years in Madison while he earned his Ph.D.
On Christmas Day 2021, Dr. Sembach and his team launched the Webb Telescope with the goal of being able to see billions of light-years away. The new telescope is able to churn out new images very quickly as opposed to its predecessor the Hubble Telescope.
“It’s the deepest view we have had yet of the universe, and it was taken with just a small amount of observing time on this telescope,” said Dr. Sembach.
Dr. Sembach says the importance of these images cannot be overstated.
“This is the day we have been waiting for,” said Dr. Sembach “Today, we are launching a new era of science. There will be a period of astronomy before this telescope started producing data and a period after. Our view of the universe going forward will never be the same.”
President Joe Biden released the first image from Webb telescope (below) Monday night from the White House. Dr. Sembach was there with the President and spoke with him in person.
“What an honor it was for them to take such an interest in what’s happening today and what’s been happening with the telescope and to reach out to the teams that have made this possible and to thank them. That was a really wonderful thing for them to do,” said Dr. Sembach. “It was just a real nice, pleasant back and forth. Some funny moments, some serious questions. It was really nice to see them take such an interest in what they were seeing.”
So far, NASA has released five beauty shots from deep outer space. Check out the original full-size images here: https://www.nasa.gov/webbfirstimages
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