Film screening and panel discussion: ‘Unknown: Cosmic Time Machine’

September 13, 2023


DATE: 5:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27

EVENT: The U-M Space Institute will host a special screening of the Netflix documentary “Unknown: Cosmic Time Machine” at Stamps Auditorium.

The documentary follows the design and historic launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, which succeeded in spite of staggering engineering challenges, as well as the scientific community’s reactions to some of the telescope’s first images.

Following the film screening, a panel will discuss how the filmmaker gained behind-the-scenes access to the mission and the JWST’s history, science and engineering marvels from an astronomer’s perspective. The discussion will be largely driven by audience questions. Panelists include:

  • Shai Gal, the film director and former Knight-Wallace fellow at U-M
  • Thomas Zurbuchen, who served as the associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate during the development and launch of the JWST
  • Michael Meyer, U-M professor of astronomy, who was involved in the development of two instruments aboard the JWST
  • Emily Rauscher, U-M associate professor of astronomy, who is using the JWST to understand the formation, structure and evolution of planets outside our solar system.

Other speakers will include Chris Ruf, director of the U-M Space Institute, who will introduce the program, and Lynette Clemetson, the Charles R. Eisendrath director of the Wallace House Center for Journalists, who will moderate the panel discussion.

REGISTRATION: Admission to the event is free, but registration is required due to limited seating. Visit Sessions@Michigan to register.

PLACE: Stamps Auditorium, Walgreen Drama Center, 1226 Murfin Ave., Ann Arbor

Due to construction on campus, there will be limited parking spaces near the venue so please plan ahead by viewing the North Campus parking map.

SPONSORS: U-M Space Institute, U-M Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, U-M Department of Astronomy, U-M Department of Aerospace Engineering, Wallace House Center for Journalists

RELATED LINKS: View the U-M Space Institute’s full description.