Tracking James Webb Space Telescope from Colgate

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Launched on Dec. 25, 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope has been making its way around the Earth and undergoing the setup process to start operations in the summer of 2022. It is the most powerful telescope that has ever been launched into space.

As the space telescope appeared over Colgate on the evening of March 30, 2022, physics and astronomy student Riley Corcoran ’22 captured a sequence of 33 75-second images during a one-hour interval. Riley, with research adviser Prof. Tom Balonek, converted those images into the 4fps video below. The large blob is NGC 4237, a spiral galaxy. The images were taken with a 16-inch telescope at the on-campus Foggy Bottom Observatory.

James Webb Space Telescope Swirling in the sky as tracked by Riley Corcoran '22. [Double click the video for full screen viewing.]