Cutting-edge astronomy

JWST is an incredible new tool that is revealing never-before-seen details about the cosmos.

We are part of JWST's story

A Carnegie astronomer chaired the committee that first conceived of its capabilities. The project's chief scientist is an alumna of our postdoctoral program.

Carnegie Astronomers excel with JWST

Carnegie Science astrophysicists and planetary scientists continue to showcase their creativity and propensity for bold research ideas using JWST. Over three cycles of telescope-time allocation, 13 projects headed up by Carnegie-affiliated astronomers have been selected to use JWST to study objects ranging from exoplanet atmospheres to the earliest generations of stars and galaxies. 

This exciting new space telescope is already driving a new era of discovery. And its capabilities will complement the upcoming generation of extremely large ground-based telescopes, including the Giant Magellan Telescope under construction at Carnegie Science’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.

A Major Contribution

Carnegie researchers have been involved with JWST since Observatories staff scientist Alan Dressler chaired the committee that led to its conception 25 years ago. The number of Carnegie scientists whose proposals have been selected for JWST observing time illustrates the outsized impact that this institution has had on the scientific endeavor.

John Mulchaey Deputy for Science and Observatories Director

The committee recommended an Origins program for a once-in-a-species opportunity to witness our cosmic beginnings, by constructing a space telescope bigger than Hubble. It would need to be extremely cold and positioned very far from Earth in order to observe these cosmic cradles using infrared cameras.

Alan Dressler Carnegie Astronomer

The Webb telescope was built to do four things and we showed that it could do all four of those on the first day that we released images.

Jane Rigby JWST Senior Project Scientist and Observatories Posdoctoral Alumna
John Mulchaey

John Mulchaey is Carnegie's Science Deputy, as well as the Crawford H. Greenewalt Chair and Director of the Carnegie Observatories. 

Alan Dressler
Jane Rigby

Selected JWST News