Cambridge Astronomical Association
Cambridge Young Astronomers


Speaker Meeting

The James Webb space telescope: a new eye on the distant Universe
Friday 16th July 2021
Start time : 20:00

Speaker : Dr. Emma Curtis Lake

At the time of writing this (February 2021) we are just over nine months away from the long-awaited launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. Currently the estimated launch date is 31st October 2021. We’ve been here before, gearing up for launch, preparing ourselves. But this time I’m hopeful. The biggest tests are complete. The call for proposals has been and gone (last time the delay was announced just a week before the proposal deadline). Maybe 2021 is the year!

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will peer at the Universe in the infra-red, in its orbit, far away from the heat radiated by the Earth. With a sunshield the size of a tennis court and a primary mirror of ~6m in diameter, we will see further than we have seen before, observing galaxies in the first few Myrs after the Big Bang.

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About our speaker:

Emma has held academic posts in Edinburgh, Paris and Cambridge since graduating with her D.Phil in Astrophysics from the University of Oxford. She is currently working at the KICC as a post-doctoral research assistant As a member of the Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) Guaranteed Time Observation (GTO) team, she is currently helping to prepare the spectroscopic extragalactic survey. Emma's main scientific focus being galaxy evolution from large statistical samples, she is working on crafting the survey selection to best allow measurements that require un-biased samples of galaxies spanning redshift and stellar mass, e.g. the mass-metallicity relation of galaxies, and its evolution over cosmic time. She also engages in a range of outreach activities and has presented talks for the IoA during the winter of 2020/21 amongst others.

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