Hong Kong Space Museum exhibition to showcase next generation space telescope


26th October 2021 – (Hong Kong)   The Hong Kong Space Museum will launch a new thematic exhibition “Golden Eye on the Cosmos – James Webb Space Telescope” tomorrow to introduce the James Webb Space Telescope (Webb). The exhibition will explain its innovative technologies, science missions and the scientific principle behind infrared astronomy.

Jointly developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, the Webb is the next-generation orbiting observatory to succeed the Hubble Space Telescope. It has a 6.5-metre-wide primary mirror, a broader infrared coverage and vastly improved sensitivity. It is difficult to observe stars in nebulae as starlight is hindered by dust. Infrared light, which is scattered to a lesser extent than visible light, enables the Webb to see through the clouds of dust and observe the formation of stars and planets directly. The major mission of the Webb, after being launched into space, is to help astronomers study every phase in the history of the universe, from the first stars and galaxies to the formation of planetary systems capable of supporting life. It will also provide clues to the solar system’s evolution, so that more can be learned about the origin of the universe.

The exhibition will display an animatronic model of the Webb, on a scale of 1:13, which enables visitors to observe the deployment sequence of fully expanding the Webb from a folded position in space. In addition to the latest technology, the exhibition will also display the earliest astronomical telescope by featuring a replica of the one used by the renowned astronomer Galileo, on loan from the Museo Galileo: Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Italy. The first astronomical observation by telescope can be traced back to 1609. Italian astronomer Galileo pointed the telescope skyward for scientific observation. His epochal discoveries revolutionised people’s understanding of the universe.

 The exhibition will be held from tomorrow to 30th May next year at the foyer of the Hong Kong Space Museum, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. The Museum will also organise a series of educational programmes such as thematic lectures to deepen the public’s comprehension of the scientific principles and the latest developments of the Webb. For details of the exhibition and relevant programmes, please visit the website at hk.space.museum or call 2721 0226 for enquiries.

According to the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F), visitors are required to scan the “LeaveHomeSafe” QR code or register their name, contact number and date and time of entry before being allowed to enter the museum for necessary contact tracing if a confirmed case is found. An appeal is made by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to visitors to download the “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile app in advance and scan the QR code with the app before entering. Visitors who opt for registering their personal information at the scene are reminded to arrive early to avoid delaying their visit, as a longer time is required for such registration. In line with the latest government arrangement, except for exempted persons, visitors to the museums under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department are required to scan the “LeaveHomeSafe” QR code from November 1.

In view of the latest situation of COVID-19, the museum will apply a quota to limit visitor flow. Visitors to the museum will need to use hand sanitiser and will be subject to temperature checks before admission. They also need to wear their own masks. Children under 12 will only be allowed to enter the museum and exhibition facilities when accompanied by an adult.