Opening the Infrared Treasure Chest with JWST

Nov 14, 2022 - 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm

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John Mather (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) zoom only

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The James Webb Space Telescope was launched on Dec. 25, 2021, and commissioning was completed in early July 2022. With its 6.5 m golden eye, and cameras and spectrometers covering 0.6 to 28 µm, Webb is already producing magnificent images of galaxies, active galactic nuclei, star-forming regions, and planets. Scientists are hunting for some of the first objects that formed after the Big Bang, the first black holes (primordial or formed in galaxies), and beginning to observe the growth of galaxies, the formation of stars and planetary systems, individual exoplanets through coronography and transit spectroscopy, and all objects in the Solar System from Mars on out. It could observe a 1 square centimeter bumblebee at the Earth-Moon distance, in reflected sunlight and thermal emission. I will show how we built the Webb and what we hope to find. Webb is a joint project of NASA with the European and Canadian space agencies.

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