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Background Science

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 very much 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. It is a multi-purpose observatory covering a wide range of astronomical topics.

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

  • The early Universe: What did the early Universe look like? When did the first stars and galaxies emerge?

  • Galaxies over time: How did the first galaxies evolve over time? What can we learn about dark matter and dark energy?

  • The lifecycle of stars: How and where do stars form? What determines how many of them form and their individual masses? How do stars die and how do their deaths impact the surrounding medium?

  • Other worlds: Where and how do planetary systems form and evolve?

Last Update: 7 June 2021
26-Oct-2021 08:53 UT

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https://sci.esa.int/s/8agOYQw

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