NASA and Bryce Canyon preview: James Webb telescope event

NASA and Bryce Canyon National Park are teaming up on Nov. 6 for the special launch of the James Webb Telescope, NASA’s next great space science observatory.

Bryce is one of 500 sights across the country joining in on this historic occasion for space exploration. The Webb telescope is the largest and most complex space telescope built to date and will launch on Dec. 18, 2021.

The telescope’s mission is to look deeper into space than ever before and see some of the earliest stars and galaxies that formed in the universe. It will also explore alien worlds in other solar systems and objects in our own system.

The event is free with park admission, the cost of a private vehicle being $35, and will start at 10 a.m. and is set to last for six hours. There will be astronomy themed art activities at the Visitor Center plaza until 2 p.m., a live virtual interview with Dr. Kevin Hainline at 3 p.m. and a telescope viewing at 8:30 p.m.

Visitors interested in the telescope viewing should know that there is a sign-up sheet in the visitor center, opening at 8 a.m., and is available until all spots are filled.

This event is a way for NASA and national parks to help bring awareness of new projects related to STEM to park viewers.

“We are thrilled that Bryce Canyon is an official host site for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope launch community events,” said Superintendent Jim Ireland. “Parks like Bryce Canyon are places of learning and discovery and this mission promises to fundamentally change our understanding of the universe for this generation and many to come.”

Visitors are invited to explore the natural wonders of Bryce Canyon. However, parts of the park, including the popular Wall Street trail,  are closed for the winter season.

Bryce Canyon is the place to be for anyone who likes getting lost in the stars and nature of southern Utah on Nov. 6. It is also an excellent opportunity to learn about the science, technology, engineering, arts and math projects that continue gaining knowledge about the final frontier. 

Story by: Skyler Jones

Photo provided by NASA