Astrophysics Seminar: Dr. Marshall Perrin, STScI


Location: 184 Nieuwland Science Hall (View on map )

JWST: From First Light to First Science

Dr. Marshall Perrin

After decades of development by a globe-spanning team, JWST is now providing an unprecedented view of the cosmos. In this talk I'll describe our experience preparing and operating this new great observatory: from a brief recap of mission design and development, to prelaunch preparations, to launch and commissioning, and now into the first of many years of science operations at the Earth-Sun L2 point. I will provide a first-hand look at the processes and teamwork we used to deploy the observatory and align its optics, and discuss some of the surprises (both challenges and good news) encountered during commissioning. Even from early in telescope commissioning, this observatory's tremendous power and sensitivity were already apparent with spectacular images and spectra. During this first year of science operations, we continue to learn more about observatory hardware performance, and to refine plans and operations in response; this is still the early days in our adventure with JWST. I will close with perspectives on some of the key factors that enabled the international community to achieve such groundbreaking science performance with JWST, and pathways onward to the future next great observatories. 

Hosted by Profs. Lehner and Howk