GREENBELT, Md., April 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Visitor Center in Greenbelt, Md. will host this month's Sunday Experiment on Sunday, April 17 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT. It's a free afternoon of eye-opening, hands-on activities spotlighting Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope (Webb).
The James Webb Space Telescope is a very large, infrared-optimized space-based observatory that is now being built and will be the most scientifically powerful space telescope to date. As the scientific successor to the wildly-successful Hubble Space Telescope, the Webb's mission is to detect and identify the first bright objects that formed in the early Universe after the Big Bang, determine how galaxies and dark matter evolved to the present day, observe the birth and early development of stars and the formation of planets, and probe the physical and chemical properties of solar systems (including our own) and search for the building blocks of life.
To perform its mission, Webb will "see" primarily infrared light instead of visible light. Students will learn about infrared light and how the James Webb Space Telescope works by engaging in an activity using an actual infrared camera. A Webb expert will be on hand to explain the satellite's hardware. Students will also make dazzling necklaces using beads that represent the life cycle of a star, as well as blast-off by constructing Alka-Seltzer rockets!
While at the Goddard Visitor Center, visitors can see science in a whole new way in the Visitor Center's captivating Science on a Sphere visualization system. Visitors can also explore the Visitor Center's ongoing exhibits and activities, including a Gemini capsule model and the Rocket Garden.
The Sunday Experiment, held the third Sunday of each month from September through May, features activities showcasing Goddard's world-renowned science and engineering research and technological developments. Families leave inspired by the activities, wowed by the scientists and engineers, and excited about Goddard's revolutionary research and technology.
In addition to celebrating all things science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the Sunday Experiment celebrates major science missions that are managed by NASA Goddard and set to launch in the near future.
"The Sunday Experiment is a place where children and adults alike can discover the excitement of Goddard through fun and engaging hands-on activities," said Emilie Drobnes, of NASA Goddard, founder of Sunday Experiment.
For more information on the Sunday Experiment, visit Goddard's Visitor Center Web page:
For more information on the Webb telescope, visit: http://science.nasa.gov/missions/npoess-preparatory-project-npp/