James Webb Space Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope will be a giant leap forward in our quest to understand the Universe and our origins. JWST will examine every phase of cosmic history: from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang to the formation of galaxies, stars, and planets to the evolution of our own solar system. The science goals for the Webb can be grouped into four themes:
- The End of the Dark Ages: First Light and Reionization - JWST will be a powerful time machine with infrared vision that will peer back over 13.5 billion years to see the first stars and galaxies forming out of the darkness of the early universe.
- Assembly of Galaxies - JWST's unprecedented infrared sensitivity will help astronomers to compare the faintest, earliest galaxies to today's grand spirals and ellipticals, helping us to understand how galaxies assemble over billions of years.
- The Birth of Stars and Protoplanetary Systems - JWST will be able to see right through and into massive clouds of dust that are opaque to visible-light observatories like Hubble, where stars and planetary systems are being born.
- Planetary Systems and the Origins of Life - JWST will tell us more about the atmospheres of extrasolar planets, and perhaps even find the building blocks of life elsewhere in the universe. In addition to other planetary systems, JWST will also study objects within our own Solar System.
Want to know more? Visit the James Webb Space Telescope project home page.