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Interview with Michael Werner

Werner, Michael (2009) Interview with Michael Werner. [Oral History]

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Interview on July 25, 2008, with infrared astronomer Michael Werner, project scientist for the Spitzer Space Telescope. Dr. Werner received his BS from Haverford in 1963 and his PhD from Cornell in 1969 under M. Harwit. As a postdoc with C. H. Townes at UC Berkeley 1969-1972, he performed early infrared studies of the cosmic microwave background with P. L. Richards and J. Mather. Taught physics at Caltech 1972-1979 and worked on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory. Began working on SIRTF [Shuttle Infrared Telescope Facility] in 1977, first at NASA's Ames Research Center and after 1990 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Dr. Werner discusses the history of infrared astronomy and the evolution of SIRTF into the Spitzer Space Telescope. He remarks on its discoveries since its August 2003 launch, including the bar at the center of our galaxy, the characteristics of extrasolar planetary atmospheres, and the discovery of numerous large galaxies in the early universe. Recalls his appointment as George Darwin lecturer at the Royal Astronomical Society. Comments on upcoming observatory launches by NASA and the European Space Agency.

Item Type:Oral History
Keywords:Physics, astronomy, space sciences, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Record Number:CaltechOH:OH_Werner_M
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Official Citation:Werner, Michael. Interview by Sara Lippincott. Pasadena, California, July 25, 2008. Oral History Project, California Institute of Technology Archives. Retrieved [supply date of retrieval] from the World Wide Web:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
Subjects:Subjects > Physics
All Records
Subjects > Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Subjects > Astronomy
ID Code:163
Deposited By: Oral Histories Administrator
Deposited On:14 Jan 2010
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 15:23

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