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.
Nano-diamonds remain an enigmatic component of cosmic dust. A significant fraction of the pre-solar nano-diamonds extracted from primitive meteorites were associated with distant exploding stars (supernovae). While they have been found in many Solar System bodies, they have been detected in only two proto-planetery disks and one evolved star, and they have never been observed in the interstellar medium. Newly-derived nano-diamond optical constants generated with the THEMIS dust model developed at IAS explain why it is hard to observe nano-diamonds in space.
The INCLASS (Innovative Common Laboratory For Space Spectroscopy) LabCom was created between the IAS and the ACRI-ST company, for an initial period of four years. A LabCom is a common laboratory between a SME and a public research laboratory, supported by the ANR (French national research agency). INCLASS is the first LabCom involving astrophysics research teams.
The SPICA infrared space telescope has just been pre-selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to participate in the final competition, which in September 2021 will see the choice of ESA's next medium-sized mission (mission M5).