Friday, May 14

Is Astronomy Ready for the James Webb Space Telescope?

Is Astronomy Ready for the James Webb Space Telescope?

NASA’s next astrophysics flagship mission, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), will soon be ready to explore the universe, but will scientists be ready to take full advantage of this incredibly powerful observatory? What will it take to be able to peer back in time to an era when the first stars and galaxies came into existence or peer with unprecedented vision at planets around stars other than our Sun? Preparations for the first observations with the telescope are underway, and astronomers are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to propose science programs that will lead to a host of new discoveries.

In this lecture, Ken Sembach, director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, will highlight some of the exciting science to be conducted in JWST’s first year of observations. He will also provide a behind-the-scenes look at the complex science and flight operations activities needed to prepare the telescope and the astronomical community for an amazing journey across time and space.