People have used music as a medium to voice their opinions for a long time. The same was done by one of the most celebrated directors of NASA, James E. Webb.
He was so overwhelmed by the unintended fame and popularity he was receiving due to the naming of the next-generation telescope after him that he chose the path of music to express his sentiments about the same.
The James Webb Space Telescope song is based on real-life events of James E. Webb, notably the series of events that followed after the naming of the telescope.
The JWST is considered as the successor of Hubble Telescope and is believed to be launched in orbit around the Sun.
With a 6.5 meter segmented mirror sensitive to infrared light, the telescope will be used to serve the following three-fold purpose ranging from unraveling the mystery about the formation of stars and early universe post the Big Bang to finding out other life-supporting planets present in the universe.
The song begins with Webb explaining one of his old college friends who congratulated him on having a telescope named after him that the situation is not the same as what it looks like.
He has mentioned in his earlier anecdotes that the state has become so obstinate with time that he has to explain through every medium he could including e-mails, in person, and even Facebook posts that the JWST is not his invention.
In the subsequent line of the song, he is seen clarifying the dilemma of his niece who congratulates him on bagging such a great achievement, that the credit does not belong to him and he has nothing to do with the telescope. According to James Edward Webb, these two incidents mentioned in the song are a portrayal of several similar events that have taken place in his real life.
The main catch in the James Webb Telescope song is the incident where he describes his light-hearted face-off with the original man, that is, the lead architect of the JWST, Dr. John Mather.
Mr. Webb meets him at a conference organized by the American Astronomical Society. While they talk at the meeting, Dr. Mather jokingly asks Mr. Webb about the telescope designed by him but still being named after James E. Webb.
He describes that moment as both uneasy and bewildering as he has to repeatedly make it clear to every person out there that he is not the person the greatest telescope in humanity is named after.
Finally, the song concludes with James E. Webb utilizing the power of Google to solve his existential crisis. The results that show up in the Google search before and after the naming of the telescope are wide apart.
Initially, he has an identity of his own and is recognized as a politician and songwriter. But since the naming of the JWST, all he can see when he googles his name is the series of results explaining the features and working of the telescope, whereas his introduction pops up on page 15.
He metaphorically compares the difficulties he has faced since the naming of the telescope to royal pain at the end of the song. The usage of royal pain is entirely justified and apt at the end.
Are you into stargazing yourself? Please take a look at the exoplanet science website and browse their selection of fantastic beginner telescopes today!