MAS August Meeting

The James Webb Space Telescope Peers Back In Time 43 Minutes

MAS August 2023 Meeting

Though we may think of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) as primarily intended to observe the early universe and the most distant galaxies, it also counts observing bodies in our own solar system as part of its mission. As part of JWST’s Early Release Science program, a group of astronomers and planetary scientists proposed and and was selected to observe the Jupiter system, including its atmosphere, rings, and several satellites. Many of that progam’s observations have now been completed and results are being published. This talk will discuss the capabilities of several of JWST’s instruments including the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam), Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) and Mid Infrared Instrument (MIRI), and what observations they conducted. (Jupiter image processing by Ricardo Hueso and Judy Schmidt.)

Dr. Pat Fry is a researcher at UW-Madison’s Space Science and Engineering Center. During his career, he has acquired, processed, and analyzed solar system data from the Galileo Probe’s Net Flux Radiometer, Hubble’s series of visible and near infrared cameras, Cassini’s imaging camera and imaging spectrograph, as well as conducting observations of Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune at NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) and the Keck Observatory on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea mountaintop.

This meeting will take place in-person at our usual Space Place classroom location. It will also be streamed live to our Youtube channel at