At the time of writing this (February 2021) we are just over nine months away from the long-awaited launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. Currently the estimated launch date is 31st October 2021. We’ve been here before, gearing up for launch, preparing ourselves. But this time I’m hopeful. The biggest tests are complete. The call for proposals has been and gone (last time the delay was announced just a week before the proposal deadline). Maybe 2021 is the year!

So, I want to spread the news. I asked my wonderful brother-in-law, Paul Greveson, to design the picture at the top for me (I’m not so comfortable putting up photos knowing the stress of the last year has taken its toll 😂). He commented that hopefully people won’t think I’m a bee-keeper!

I gave my first ever youTube live-stream last night for the Cambridge University Astronomy youTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa7e55mYI2xQAoV_0hRmL-g). Matt Bothwell has done such an amazing job since the Covid outbreak to take all the astronomy outreach activities online and he’s connecting with a larger audience than ever before. We apparently had an audience of 804 people live! That’s the biggest audience I’ve ever talked to before! There are some positive things that have come from this pandemic, and I hope people stay engaged when life returns to ‘normal’ or ‘the new normal’.

It’s such a pleasure to talk to the public about this amazing Telescope and all the things we hope to learn about galaxies in the early Universe (the part of the Universe I’m most interested in).


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