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Blue Dot #242: Exploring the Universe with The James Webb Space Telescope

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Host Dave is joined by special guest co-host Dr. Kendall Hall (Professor of Physics CSU Chico) to visit with James Webb Space Telescope science team member Dr. Charles Beichman, the Executive Director of NASA's Exoplanet Science Institute at CalTech in Pasadena.

We'll learn about the amazing engineering that has gone into creating a space telescope that is far more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope that is nearing the end of its operational lifetime. Using infrared light, the JWST will unravel mysteries from the earliest formation of galaxies right after the Big Bang to probing the atmospheres of exoplanets that may harbor the signatures of life beyond Earth.

Dave's good friend retired NASA Flight Director Gerry Griffin will also join in to tell Dave about the man the space telescope was named for, early NASA Administrator James Webb

Dave Schlom is the longtime host and creator of Blue Dot. From surfing to Voyager in interstellar space, rock guitar to orcas in our imperiled oceans, the topics on Blue Dot are as varied as the host’s interests and connections -- which are pretty limitless! An internationally respected space history journalist, Dave is also deeply fascinated by all aspects of the grand workings of nature’s awesome machinery on scales ranging from galactic to subatomic. And topics take in all aspects of the arts and sciences.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.