The James Webb Space Telescope

  • Jonathan P Gardner
  • John C. Mather
  • Mark Clampin
  • Rene Doyon
  • Kathryn A. Flanagan
  • Marijn Franx
  • Matthew A. Greenhouse
  • Heidi B. Hammel
  • John B. Hutchings
  • Peter Jakobsen
  • Simon J. Lilly
  • Jonathan I. Lunine
  • Mark J. McCaughrean
  • Matt Mountain
  • George H. Rieke
  • Marcia J. Rieke
  • George Sonneborn
  • Massimo Stiavelli
  • Rogier Windhorst
  • Gillian S. Wright.
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings book series (ASSSP)

Abstract

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large (6.6 m), cold (<50 K), infrared (IR)-optimized space observatory that will be launched early in the next decade into orbit around the second Earth–Sun Lagrange point. The observatory will have four instruments: a near-IR camera, a near-IR multi-object spectrograph, and a tunable filter imager that will cover the wavelength range, 0.6 < λ < 5.0 μm, while the mid-IR instrument will do both imaging and spectroscopy from 5.0 < λ < 29 μm. The JWST science goals are divided into four themes. The End of the Dark Ages: First Light and Reionization theme seeks to identify the first luminous sources to form and to determine the ionization history of the early universe. The Assembly of Galaxies theme seeks to determine how galaxies and the dark matter, gas, stars, metals, morphological structures, and active nuclei within them evolved from the epoch of reionization to the present day. The Birth of Stars and Protoplanetary Systems theme seeks to unravel the birth and early evolution of stars, from infall onto dust-enshrouded protostars to the genesis of planetary systems. The Planetary Systems and the Origins of Life theme seeks to determine the physical and chemical properties of planetary systems including our own, and investigate the potential for the origins of life in those systems. To enable these science goals, JWST consists of a telescope, an instrument package, a spacecraft, and a sunshield. The telescope primary mirror is made of 18 beryllium segments, some of which are deployed. The segments will be brought into optical alignment on-orbit through a process of periodic wavefront sensing and control. The instrument package contains the four science instruments and a fine guidance sensor. The spacecraft provides pointing, orbit maintenance, and communications. The sunshield provides passive thermal control. The JWST operations plan is based on that used for previous space observatories, and the majority of JWST observing time will be allocated to the international astronomical community through annual peer-reviewed proposal opportunities.

Keywords

Planetary System Primary Mirror Circumstellar Disk Secondary Mirror Guide Star 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan P Gardner
    • 1
  • John C. Mather
  • Mark Clampin
  • Rene Doyon
  • Kathryn A. Flanagan
  • Marijn Franx
  • Matthew A. Greenhouse
  • Heidi B. Hammel
  • John B. Hutchings
  • Peter Jakobsen
  • Simon J. Lilly
  • Jonathan I. Lunine
  • Mark J. McCaughrean
  • Matt Mountain
  • George H. Rieke
  • Marcia J. Rieke
  • George Sonneborn
  • Massimo Stiavelli
  • Rogier Windhorst
  • Gillian S. Wright.
  1. 1.Observational Cosmology LaboratoryGreenbeltUSA

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