In light of the detection of The first images taken by the James Webb Telescope
In space, astronomers from several countries again asked NASA to change the name of the instrument.
This is because there are allegations that the former NASA Administrator and US Under Secretary of State who fired the telescope was an accomplice in the persecution against the country’s LGBTQIA+ community in the 1950s and 1960s.
The persecution became known as the tulip terror, at which time there was a mass segregation of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people who worked for the US government in the mid-20th century.
A petition was created and signed by more than 1,700 people in the astronomical community to rename the telescope.
“We demand that NASA’s next generation space telescope be renamed, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). This new mission reflects the rainbow of potential universes that our community imagines, dreams and works for, and its name should reflect your future legacy,” say the people who signed to document
On her official Twitter account, Chanda Prescod Weinstein, a physics professor at the University of New Hampshire and one of four researchers who led the renaming’s petition, said she had a dual feeling about the use of the James Webb Telescope.
“As one of the people leading the effort to change the name, today seems bittersweet,” she said. “I am very excited about the new images, and very upset at NASA Headquarters.”
In September 2021, NASA took a stand against changing the name of the space instrument. The agency said it found no evidence to justify renaming the telescope.
Phil Plait, the famous American astronomer and writer, wrote on Twitter that despite the importance of the instrument, which cost $10 billion to build, it has a negative footprint.
“The observatory will produce amazing science and amazing images, surely like nothing Hubble has ever done. But it was named after someone who is irrevocably linked to bigotry and homophobia, and on top of all of that NASA got it wrong in the way it handled the situation.” , He said.
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