NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

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JWST: Launch, Commissioning, and Cycle 1 Science

Science Meeting
August 20 - 22, 2018
Vienna, Austria

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is expected to revolutionize our understanding of the near- to mid-infrared sky by enabling observations with an unprecedented combination of superb angular resolution and sensitivity. Since JWST is a general-purpose observatory, its scientific success is dependent on the broader scientific community to make new discoveries.

The 2018 IAU General Assembly is uniquely timed in the life cycle of JWST. Commissioning and Cycle 1 science plans will have been finalized by August 2018, thus the 2018 IAU GA will provide an important international platform to inform the broader community of what to expect in the coming months for JWST. 

This focus meeting will highlight the science that will be enabled by JWST early in its life cycle and touch on commissioning, Early Release Science (ERS), Guaranteed Time Observer (GTO), and General Observer (GO) programs slated for cycle 1. Members of the design team for the four JWST science instruments (MIRI, NIRCam, NIRSpec, and NIRISS) will discuss the science potential of their instruments. Talks and discussion sessions aimed at the broad science topics enabled by JWST, from our solar system to the edge of the universe, will be drawn from contributions from the entire astronomical community. Given the cross-disciplinary and international nature of JWST’s mission, this focus meeting will be the ideal opportunity to discuss the science that will be enabled with JWST in the near-term.

Key topics include:

  • The scientific prospects of JWST from within our solar system to the edge of the universe.
  • Solar system science with JWST: From the surfaces of asteroids to the atmospheres of giant planets.
  • Exoplanet science with JWST: From the birth of planets to the search for life.
  • Galactic science with JWST: From the birth and evolution of stars and everything in between.
  • Extragalactic science with JWST: From galaxies near to far and first light.
  • JWST for all astronomers: Cycle 1 science and future opportunities.
  • JWST’s four remarkable instruments and their unique science capabilities.
  • Ensuring the science yield of JWST through ground-testing, commissioning, and calibration activities.

Keynote Speakers

John Mather (NASA GSFC)
Ewine F. van Dishoeck (Leiden)
René Doyon (UdeM)


2/28/18 Regular abstract submission for oral and poster contributions due
5/31/18  Abstract submission for posters due
6/30/18 Registration deadline




Register and submit your abstracts on the IAU GA website.

Meeting Schedule

August 20, 2018 

Time Topic Presenter
10:30-12:00 Webb’s History and Science Instruments TBD
13:30-15:00 Interstellar Matter and Local Universe Science with Webb TBD

August 21, 2018 

Time Topic Presenter
10:30-12:00 Galaxies and Cosmology Science with Webb TBD
13:30-15:00 Stars and Stellar Physics Science with Webb TBD

August 22, 2018 

Time Topic Presenter
10:30-12:00 Planetary Systems and Bioastronomy Science with Webb TBD
13:30-15:00 Webb’s Current Status and Looking Toward the Future TBD

SOC C0-Chairs

Nikole K. Lewis, STScI (USA)
Stefanie Milam, GSFC (USA)

SOC Members

Pierre Ferruit, ESA (Netherlands)
Masami Ouchi, University of Tokyo (Japan)
Monica Rubio, Universidad de Chile (Chile)
Stan Metchev, Western University (Canada)
Monica Tosi, INAF - Bologna Observatory (Italy)
Marijn Franx, Leiden Observatory (Netherlands)
Shude Mao, Tsinghua University (China)