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Background Science

When scientists start thinking about a new space observatory, the first question is always: what new science will this telescope reveal? In other words, they outline the priorities for the 'scientific core' of the space mission. These science goals are always ambitious and are intended to make significant scientific advances. This is also the case for the JWST; it is designed to answer fundamental questions about our Universe.

Science goals for the JWST

The JWST is intended to solve outstanding key questions concerning our place in the evolving Universe.

In order to guide the design of the telescope and its instruments, scientists have identified five general topics as the core scientific themes for the JWST.

  • Cosmology and the structure of the Universe
  • Origin and evolution of galaxies
  • History of the Milky Way and its neighbours
  • Birth and formation of stars
  • Origin and evolution of planetary systems

Last Update: 11 June 2003

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