James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be the largest telescope in space. It has a deployable mirror of 6.6m in diameter and it is optimized for astronomical observations in the infrared band. It is planned for launch in 2021.

I am part of the Instrument Science Team of NIRSpec, the primary spectrometer of JWST, and part its Guaranteed Time Observations (GTO) Team.


NIRSpec will be the first multi-object spectrograph in space and will be capable of obtaining simultaneous spectra of more than one hundred objects with unprecedented sensitivity in the wavelength range 0.6-5.3 microns over an aread of 9 arcmin2.

NIRSpec also has an Integral Field Unit that will provide 3D spectroscopy over a field of view of view of 3x3 arcsec at the diffraction limit of the telescope (~0.1 arcsec).

The NIRSpec GTO Programme

In return for the provision of the NIRSpec spectrograph, the European Space Agency (ESA) has received an allocation of 900 hours of JWST guaranteed time. This program is managed by the ESA JWST project scientist and is being prepared by the NIRSpec guaranteed-time observation (GTO) team.

Together with a collaboration with the NIRCam team, a total of more than 1,100 hours will be dedicated to an unprecedented survey of several thousand distant galaxies out to the dawn of the Universe.

More detailed information about the NIRSpec GTO programme can be found here.