UA Science
Left: Southern Ring planetary nebula images (Right taken by NIRCAM / Left taken by MIRI) Right: Stephan's Quintet galaxies image taken by MIRI

Webb Telescope's stunning first images made possible by UArizona instruments and expertise

After decades of development, a nail-biting launch and months of space travel and commissioning, NASA has released the first scientific images and spectroscopic data captured by the James Webb Space Telescope. The images hint at the beginning of years of space science, which will in part be made possible by the 21 University of Arizona researchers who have played a role in developing and managing the instruments onboard.

The release of Webb's first images and spectra kicks off the beginning of Webb's science operations, in which astronomers around the world will have their chance to observe anything from objects in our solar system to the early universe, using Webb's four instruments. These include the Near Infrared Camera, or NIRCam, which serves as the telescope's short wavelength imager and is led by principal investigator and UArizona Regents Professor of Astronomy Marcia Rieke. George Rieke, Marcia's husband and also a Regents Professor of Astronomy at UArizona's Steward Observatory, serves as science team lead for the Mid-Infrared Instrument, or MIRI, which will observe the universe at...

UA Astronomer, Dr. George Rieke, comments on new James Webb Space Telescope images

Regents' Professor George Rieke, the Science Lead for the JWST MIRI Instrument, gives us his view of the first images from JWST:

"It is gratifying to see how the first images and results from the James Webb Space Telescope have swept the world and given so many people a respite from humanity’s problems. If it is possible, it is even more gratifying to the teams at Steward Observatory who have been working and supporting the development of two of the four instruments on Webb – the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI). Our roles in these instruments began more than twenty years ago for a few now-grizzled veterans, and as long as ten years ago for...

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