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The James Webb Space Telescope and the landscape of observational astronomy in the 2020s


Building on the groundbreaking successes of the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope will open new windows on the Universe at infrared wavelengths. I will present the latest status of the mission, the roadmap towards science operations, and some of the scientific highlights we expect to achieve after launch in late 2018. I’ll focus in particular on the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), which will bring unprecedented spatial resolution and sensitivity at mid-IR wavelengths – a challenging region to access from the ground. Two of the major JWST mission science goals will benefit greatly from MIRI’s mid-IR coverage: imaging of exoplanets and the spectroscopic study of their atmospheres, and detecting the first generations of galaxies to form in the early Universe. JWST will be just one of a generation of new observatories to come online in the coming years and through the 2020s. I will discuss its place in this new generation and discuss its complementarities with the innovative new ground-based optical/IR telescopes and instruments currently under development

Cody Hall

Sarah Kendrew (European Space Agency)

February 10, 2017
14:00 - 15:00