JWST: a new space observatory with amazing performance
The first data were presented on Tuesday 12 July. They confirm the exceptional performance of the JWST and its four scientific instruments (NIRSPec, NIRISS, NIRCam, MIRI), in particular the angular resolution and sensitivity which are often better than predicted.
Never before has the sky been observed with this level of detail and depth. These outstanding results are the culmination of almost three decades of collaborative development between NASA, ESA and CSA, using the collective experience gained in particular from the implementation and the exploitation of previous major space observatories (IRAS, COBE, HST, ISO, Spitzer, WISE, Planck, Herschel, etc.).
IAS is member of the European consortium for the MIRI mid-infrared instrument. The laboratory was involved in the optical tests of the MIRI imager which allowed the only ground measurement of the optical impulse response, is responsible for the processing and dissemination of the imager data within the French MIRI centre of expertise, and has created the INCLASS joint laboratory for the fusion of imaging and spectroscopy data. Its scientific teams are involved in several upcoming observational programmes on photo-dominated regions, the radiative feedback of massive stars, grain growth, dynamics in proto-planetary disks, the composition of trans-Neptunian objects and proto-clusters of galaxies.