Aerospace scientist and Blinn alumnus to speak about newest space telescope

Brenham native Michael Harrison will speak about the telescope that will succeed Hubble

November 17, 2017

Michael HarrisonBlinn College alumnus and aerospace scientist Michael Harrison will return to Blinn College-Brenham Monday, Nov. 20, to speak about the James Webb Space Telescope.

Harrison is part of a team that worked on the Webb Telescope, the planned successor of the Hubble Space Telescope. Harrison will speak at 4:15 p.m. in the Brenham Campus Student Center Conference Room. He has worked in the aerospace field for 37 years.

“Those who attend will enjoy a brilliant presentation by a man who is very gifted in the sciences, especially astronomy,” said Dr. Kenneth French, Chemistry Professor. “Students and others will be informed and inspired by Harrison’s knowledge and experience.”

Physics Professor Dr. Charles A. Heller, who taught Harrison during his tenure at Blinn, will introduce his former student.

The Webb Telescope will be a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror. The telescope will be launched in 2019, and will be the premier observatory for the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of the universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth.

Harrison is a Brenham native who attended Blinn in 1975-76, earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from MIT, and upon graduation began working at TRW Space Technology in Redondo Beach, Calif. He has spent over three decades in aerospace science, working primarily in the design of data acquisition and satellite guidance systems. He has also studied Aerospace Architecture at USC in the graduate school of engineering.

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