Learning About Space for Nerd Month

How much further can you branch out than exploring the depths of space and time itself? With the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), we actually get the chance to see photographs of space that are so far away that you are technically seeing back in time. That’s right: instead of measuring the distance that the JWST observes in regular units, like miles or kilometers, it measures distance in time. For example, recently the JWST observed four galaxies as they appeared 13.4 billion years ago. This means that these objects are so far away that it took 13.4 billion years for the light that they emit to reach the JWST. To give some perspective, it takes 8.3 minutes for the Sun to travel 9.3 million miles for its light to reach us. Needless to say, the objects that we are seeing from the JWST are really, really far away.

Occasionally NASA and their partner organizations will release photos from the JWST. While these photos can be beautiful and awe inspiring, they can also be a little confusing as to what exactly you are looking at. To help us understand, Herrick District Library is welcoming Michael Cortright of the Shoreline Amateur Astronomical Association on May 24th from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. To get prepared for this presentation, I have put together a list of books about the wonders of space, notable astronomers, and space organizations.

Hubble's Universe

While the JWST will be able to capture photos of the Universe that will put the Hubble Space Telescope to shame, that doesn't detract from any of the fantastic photos that Hubble has taken over the past thirty years.



Chandra's Cosmos

Along with the JWST and Hubble Space Telescope, there is also the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Orbiting the planet at over 64,000 miles away, the Change X-ray Observatory is also responsible for some fantastic photographs.

When Galaxies Were Born

The Astronomy Book

Easy to read book full of fun illustrations and infographics that breaks down some of the biggest discoveries in astronomy. 

The Glass Universe

This fascinating book recounts the many contribution of a group of women working Harvard College Observatory from the late 1800s through the mid-1900s. Although frequently unacknowledged by their male peers, their contributions to astronomy were considerable.