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Cosmic Musings Panel Discussion - Into the Unknown: the James Webb Space Telescope
May 21st, 2018 to May 21st, 2017 7:30pm
A screening of the documentary film about JWST followed by Q&A session with the JWST team.
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Sponsored by United Airlines.



Launching in 2020, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will reveal a universe we have never seen before and is poised to answer questions such as: How did the universe make its first stars and galaxies? The documentary INTO THE UNKNOWN tells the story of building the James Webb Space Telescope — a revolutionary successor to the Hubble Telescope and 100 times more powerful. Featuring dynamic scenes of construction, fascinating conversations with scientists and engineers and stunning visuals, Into the Unknown offers an in-depth look at one of the most daring scientific missions ever attempted. A story for all ages, this film captures the wonder of the cosmos and the timeless human desire to understand our place within the universe.


The documentary will be introduced by Sandra Evers-Manly, Northrop Grumman Foundation President. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A to include:


Michael McElwain
NASA Goddard, James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), Observatory Project Scientist
As the JWST Observatory Project Scientist, McElwain is responsible for assessing how technical issues related to the Observatory affect science performance. This includes the combination of the telescope, sunshield, and spacecraft. He is also planning direct imaging observations of exoplanets using the JWST.


Scott Willoughby
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems Vice President and JWST Program Manager
Scott P. Willoughby is the vice president and program manager for the JWST program at Northrop Grumman. The program is currently on contract for the design, development, and delivery of the Observatory to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.


Nikole Lewis
Space Telescope Science Institute, James Webb Space Telescope Project Scientist
Dr. Lewis is an expert in the area of exoplanet atmospheric characterization. Her work focuses on the interplay of dynamical, radiative, and chemical processes (including cloud formation) in exoplanet atmospheres. She has successfully bridged the gap between theory and observation through her pioneering work with Spitzer Space Telescope exoplanet observations and the development of general circulation models for a number of giant exoplanets. Dr. Lewis' work at the Space Telescope Science Institute focuses on enabling transiting exoplanet observations with the JWST.


Check-in and the Café at the End of the Universe open at 6:00 p.m. The Observatory will be closed to the general public, and the only area/exhibits inside the building open to ticketed guests is in the immediate vicinity of the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater. The presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater.



Reservations are required to access event parking and enter Griffith Observatory. In the case of sold-out shows, ticket sales will close. The event wait list may be joined by emailing, including the number of seats requested and a full name for the reservation. Wait list tickets are sold at the door, cash (exact change) only. Non-wait list tickets not picked up by 7:40 p.m. will be made available to wait-listed guests. No refunds are available. All registration closes May 21, 4:00 p.m.

If your membership has lapsed or you would like to become a FOTO member, renew or join easily on-line at For event or membership questions, please send an email to Marc at or call 213.473.0879.


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