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Unveiling New Horizons Of The Cosmos With The James Webb Space Telescope

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Wednesday, April 19, 2023

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Title: Unveiling New Horizons Of The Cosmos With The James Webb Space Telescope

Speaker: Jaime A. Alvarado-Montes

Date & Time: Apr 19, 2023 at 1800



The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) marks the dawn of a new era in astronomy. Not only is JWST important regarding its technological advances applied to the forefront of science, but also because it portends many other significant achievements. Among the most complex and expensive science instruments ever constructed, JWST can potentially be a preeminent tool that will deepen human knowledge about the cosmos and its contents. JWST was put in orbit at the second Lagrange point, a special place around the Sun where the telescope is out of the Earth's shadow and its solar shield will block out the heat from the Sun, Earth, and Moon. This is a unique advantage that maintains JWST at exceptionally low temperatures, enabling observations in the infrared previously unattainable by other instruments such as the Hubble Space Telescope. Such a thermally stable position, combined with the cutting-edge instruments on board JWST, grants us unprecedented access to the most remote corners of the Universe. This will facilitate an understanding of its origin, the formation and evolution of ancient galaxies, the properties of extrasolar planets, and ultimately the formation of the Solar System and the evolution of life as we know it. In this talk, I will discuss the significance of JWST and its long and intricate path to orbit. Also, I will showcase some of the most important findings made by JWST to date and how this instrument is revolutionizing our capacity to do far-reaching astronomy.


My name is Jaime Andrés Alvarado Montes and I’m a professional astronomer originally from Colombia. Currently, I’m a PhD candidate at Macquarie University and I’m passionate about computing techniques, software skills, writing, and learning about science and its constant evolution. My research field are the planetary sciences, with an emphasis on extrasolar planets, moons, rings, asteroids, and comets. Most of my work is about how extrasolar systems evolve: the study of such systems can give us valuable information about their formation and can subsequently help us understand more about the history of our own Solar System. At the moment I'm in the last three months of my PhD and I’m planning on continuing my career in academia as a postdoctoral research fellow, because my ultimate goal is to become a full-time researcher and professor.