Experimental Particle and Astro-Particle Physics Seminar

Stefanos Leontsinis (University of Zurich (CH))


The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), launched on Christmas-day in 2021, is with its 6.5 m diameter primary mirror the largest telescope ever launched into space. The telescope and its 4 science instruments are optimised for infrared wavelengths between 0.6 µm and 28 µm. With its prominent large sunshield and orbit 1.5 million kilometres away from earth, it is cooled passively to ~43 K to suppress thermal instrumental background. The Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) is the only instrument that observes in the thermal wavelength range between 5 µm and 28 µm, hence it is actively cooled to temperatures below 7K. It is also the only instrument that is build by a large consortium of research institutes, distributed across 10 member countries, one of which is Switzerland. In this talk we review the general architecture of JWST and MIRI and focus on the hardware and test contributions from Switzerland to MIRI. Over the 18 years between early development and launch we follow all major steps of the mission and discuss some early science results.

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