JWST is an extraordinary technological achievement. Its ultra-precise optical system makes it a powerful tool for studying extrasolar planets (exoplanets) - worlds that orbit around other stars. Specifically, JWST is capable of measuring the chemical composition of exoplanet atmospheres with unprecedented sensitivity. In this lecture, Prof. Macintosh will discuss the most exciting exoplanet science planned for JWST: it will study giant planets like our own Jupiter by blocking the glare of bright stars, allowing us to understand how these worlds form. The telescope will also study smaller planets as they eclipse their host stars; we can identify chemical traces in their atmosphere when these planets are backlit by starlight. Prof. Macintosh will highlight recent results using both techniques. The same techniques will be adopted by JWST and future successor telescopes to study Earth-sized planets and look for signs of life.
Speaker: Bruce Macintosh, UC Observatories
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Editor's Note: This event has been rescheduled for January 30 at a different location.
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