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Experience the beauty of the universe

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) allows us to look deeper into the universe than ever before. Not only does this provide a mass of data, but also stunning images. You can admire all of that in the Old Observatory's new exhibition: JWST Universe. Be amazed by the stunning images and learn more about this groundbreaking telescope.

With its large mirrors and sophisticated measurement equipment, the JWST can capture light from stars and galaxies that formed shortly after the Big Bang. As a result, we are increasingly learning about the origin, formation and evolution of galaxies. And that's not all. The groundbreaking telescope can also photograph those distant galaxies in staggering detail.

All the brand-new images from the JWST can now be admired at the Old Observatory in metres large. 'The exhibition highlights JWST's scientific goals by literally placing you as a visitor in between the images,' says Old Observatory manager Naor Scheinowitz. 'The walls of the exhibition are filled with the most beautiful pictures taken by the telescope so far.'

A scale model and metal work of art

But how does the JWST actually work? 'In the exhibition, we have a 1:10 scale model of the telescope with which we can easily explain that.' In addition, visitors can admire the artwork 'The Reconstruction of Mystery'. This work by Leandros Ntolas is inspired by the telescope and aims to make viewers think about the mysteries of the universe. 'The artwork considers the JWST not only as a scientific object, but as an object relevant to the whole of human culture.'

A guided tour of the Old Observatory

To truly learn all about the JWST and research into the universe, you can combine a visit to the exhibition with a tour of the Old Observatory. 'With a demonstration of our historical telescopes, we show how scientists used to take pictures in the past. We also show with a fun demo that JWST looks at the universe in a completely different way than we do: with infrared light'

The cultural value of science

On 26 April, scientific director of the Observatory Ignas Snellen opened the exhibition together with NOVA director Michiel Rodenhuis. Then astronomer Melissa McClure showed some of the scientific highlights of JWST. Afterwards, the first visitors could admire the radiant images. 'The exhibition makes it clear that the universe is not only interesting for science', says Scheinowitz. 'It is also of deep cultural value.'

Want to visit the exhibition?

The exhibition will last until December and can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday. More information and ticket sales can be found on the website of the Old Observatory.

Photos: Zsófia Szalavári en Mateusz Ostaszewski

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