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May 12, 2023

The Webb Telescope: Twenty Years in the Making but Worth the Wait

Welsh Lectures 2023 Colloquium

The launch of the James Webb Space Telescope followed by the successful deployment of its sun shield and optics has ushered in a new era in astronomy. The six-month commissioning period revealed a telescope and set of instruments that outperform the pre-launch predictions. The image quality of the telescope is spectacular which in turn enhances the science return. The sensitivity stemming means that observing programs will yield better signal to noise, and deep surveys further back in time. We have already spectroscopically confirmed a galaxy seen at an age of only 330 million years after the Big Bang.  These observations are already challenging our understanding of galaxy formation in the early universe. The first new insights into other areas of astronomy such as the composition and climates of orbiting other stars.

coffee & cookies 1:45 pm