Look Up!

Explore Our Universe

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope launches in December 2021

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STAR Net Partners with ALA and NASA for the JWST Mission Campaign

STAR Net’s Look Up: Explore Our Universe campaign is a celebration of the James Webb Space Telescope mission.  It’s a collaboration with the American Library Association, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Education Development Center, NASA’s Universe of Learning program, and NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.  

Public libraries across the U.S. and beyond are invited to participate in this year-long campaign and take advantage of the many resources that are available on this campaign website and others that we link to. Resources include STAR Net’s STEM Activity Clearinghouse activities, videos, images, media toolkit, live streaming events, and connection to subject matter experts.  

SAVE the DATE for a Live OpenSpace Event with the American Museum of Natural History!

NASA@ My Library and the American Museum of Natural History are set to bring a livestream about the Webb Space Telescope to your library. What sets the Webb Space Telescope apart from other space telescopes and how will the mission extend our understanding of the Universe? Join presenters from the American Museum of Natural History on either evening for a live, virtual trip more than a million miles from Earth, to Webb’s future home in space.

OpenSpace is open source interactive data visualization software designed to visualize the entire known universe and portray our ongoing efforts to investigate the cosmos.

Both events will be similar, so no need to attend both! Save one or both of these dates:

October 13, 2021 at 4 pm MT
October 14, 2021 at 7pm MT
YouTube Stream
YouTube Stream

Look Up! Explore Our Universe STEAM Activity Toolkit

STAR Net’s digital STEAM Activity Toolkit has five interactive activities with accompanying resources and video links to help you put together programming in celebration of the James Webb Space Telescope launch! Find even more activities on STAR Net’s STEM Activity Clearinghouse.

View the Entire Collection
STEAM Strategies Videos
Spiral Galaxy M106. Credit: NASA, ESA, The Hubble Heritage Team, & R. Gendler

Why is the Webb telescope important?

The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST or Webb) is an orbiting infrared observatory that will complement and extend the legacy of previous space-based telescopes, like Hubble and Spitzer. Webb will be the premier observatory of the next decade. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, from the atmospheres of other worlds to the formation of the first galaxies. Our goal is that with your help, Webb’s launch and operation will captivate and inspire a new generation of space science enthusiasts, reaching a broader, more diverse audience than ever before. It represents a unique opportunity to engage your community through some of humanity’s biggest questions: How does the Universe work? How did we get here? Are we alone? 

Check out this link for more information about the Webb Telescope:


Check Out These Videos to Learn More:

Hubble and Webb: Friends in the Sky

How will the Hubble Space Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope be different, and how are they similar? Learn more in this short, animated video. Credits: NASA, ESA, and L. Hustak (STScI) 

Visualization of the Orion Nebula in Visible and Infrared Light

This visualization explores the Orion Nebula using both visible and infrared light. The sequence begins with a wide-field view of the sky showing the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy, then zooms down to the scale of the Orion Nebula. The visible light observation (from the Hubble Space Telescope) and the infrared light observation (from the Spitzer Space Telescope) are compared. Credits: NASA, ESA, and F. Summers, G. Bacon, Z. Levay, J. DePasquale, L. Hustak, L. Frattare, M. Robberto, M. Gennaro (STScI), R. Hurt (Caltech/IPAC), M. Kornmesser (ESA), A. Fujii. Music: “Dvorak – Serenade for Strings Op22 in E Major larghetto,” performed by The Advent Chamber Orchestra, CC BY-SA 

Featured Webinar

Look Up! Explore Our Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope Mission

This webinar was conducted on May 25th

View Details

The ever-expanding Universe is full of awe-inspiring phenomena, and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is NASA’s next great space science observatory setting out to discover the mysteries of our solar system! Join STAR Net, NASA’s Universe of Learning, and Project Scientist Dr. Alexandra Lockwood to learn about how the JWST, launching in October 2021, will be searching for distant worlds around other stars and probing the mystifying structures and origins of the Universe. Learn about how you can use the JWST launch to captivate and inspire your patrons and engage your community in some of humanity’s biggest questions: How does the Universe work? How did we get here? Are we alone?

Archived Webinars and Resources

Libraries Accessing SMEs

Libraries Accessing NASA Subject Matter Experts

Bringing the Stories of the Skies to your Library

Bringing the Stories of the Skies to Your Library

How to Use a Telescope

Astronomy Resources

Would you like to build your own solar system? Or fly a spacecraft to Mars? How about ordering different images according to their relative size and distance apart? Share NCIL’s interactive games with your patrons to help develop their learning skills.

“Play is the beginning of knowledge.” – George Dorsey

Visit SciGames.org

Be a Webb Artist!

Be a Webb Artist! NASA invites you to create James Webb Space Telescope inspired art, and share it with NASA using #JWSTArt! The gallery is a selection of all the public submitted art. Click any thumbnail for a larger image and details. Submit art directly to the JWST Inspired Flickr Group.

Additional Resources

Below we have assembled a collection of additional resources that include a book list, printable materials, interactive resources, and more!

Book List

The Power of Stars
Night Sky Watcher
Mission: Mars
The Secret Galaxy
View Entire Book List


Campaign Logos & Resources
21 Ways to Celebrate the Launch in 2021
James Webb Space Telescope Website
NASA’s Universe of Learning
Hubble Space Telescope Image Gallery


James Webb Space Telescope Posters and Lithographs 
Recipe for Planet Formation Infographic 
Cosmic Reionization Infographic
Webb’s Microshutters Infographic
View Entire Printables List


Solar System Ambassadors
NASA Museum Alliance
Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA
Night Sky Network
View All Collaborators

Interactive Resources

Explore Exoplanets with NASA Eyes
NASA’s Astrophoto Challenges
NASA Space Place – What Is a Black Hole?
Galaxies Through Time 
View Entire Resources List

Video Collection

James Webb Space Telescope: An Overview
James Webb Space Telescope: Worth the Wait
An Introduction to the James Webb Space Telescope Mission
James Webb Telescope Playlist
Webb in Spanish

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