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Studying Galaxy Formation with the Hubble, Spitzer and James Webb Space TelescopesThe deepest optical to infrared observations of the universe include the Hubble Deep Fields, the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey and the recent Hubble Ultra-Deep Field. Galaxies are seen in these surveys at redshifts z greater than 6, less than 1 Gyr after the Big Bang, at the end of a period when light from the galaxies has reionized Hydrogen in the inter-galactic medium. These observations, combined with theoretical understanding, indicate that the first stars and galaxies formed at z greater than 10, beyond the reach of the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes. To observe the first galaxies, NASA is planning the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a large (6.5m), cold (less than 50K), infrared-optimized observatory to be launched early in the next decade into orbit around the second Earth-Sun Lagrange point. JWST will have four instruments: The Near-Infrared Camera, the Near-Infrared multi-object Spectrograph, and the Tunable Filter Imager will cover the wavelength range 0.6 to 5 microns, while the Mid-Infrared Instrument will do both imaging and spectroscopy from 5 to 28.5 microns. In addition to JWST's ability to study the formation and evolution of galaxies, I will also briefly review its expected contributions to studies of the formation of stars and planetary systems, and discuss recent progress in constructing the observatory.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Gardner, Jonathan P. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
September 9, 2009
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.