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Canada's Contribution to the James Webb Space Telescope

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Published on Jul 24, 2012

Slated for launch in 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope is a joint project between NASA, the European Space Agency and the CSA. The Webb telescope will examine the first stars and galaxies to form after the Big Bang; the formation of new stars; and extra-solar planetary systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth. Canada is providing Webb's Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS), and the Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS). Both were designed, built and tested by COM DEV International in Ottawa and Cambridge, Ontario, with technical contributions from the Université de Montréal and the National Research Council Canada, and scientific guidance of the FGS science team. The CSA's contribution guarantees Canadian astronomers a share of observing time once the telescope launches.

The FGS-NIRISS science team is jointly led by Dr John Hutchings of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Professor René Doyon from the Université de Montréal, Director of the Mont-Mégantic Observatory and member of the Centre de recherche en astrophysique du Québec (CRAQ). The team includes astronomers from: COM DEV; the NRC; Saint Mary's University; the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI); the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich); the Université de Montréal; the University of Rochester; and the University of Toronto.

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