5.05pm Saturday 3rd February 2024

Andy Bunker is a Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford. He did an undergraduate degree and PhD at Oxford, and postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, and Cambridge. Before returning to Oxford in 2008, he was Head of Astronomy at the Anglo Australian Observatory, based in Sydney. Andy’s research involves using large telescopes to study galaxies at enormous distances, observing with telescopes in Hawaii and Chile. He has frequently worked with data from the Hubble Space Telescope, and was the first to analyse the Ultra Deep Field images (the most sensitive picture of the Universe yet taken). Since 2005 he has been on the European Space Agency instrument science team for the near-infrared spectrograph on the James Webb Space Telescope.

At the Edge of the Universe: seeing the most distant galaxies yet with JWST

The James Webb Space Telescope launched on Christmas Day in 2021, and is now making spectacular observations of the Universe. I will describe my involvement on the instrument science team of the near-infrared spectrograph on Webb, including the discovery of the most distant objects known. We are using this instrument to find galaxies at immense distances, when the Universe was very young, and to measure the rate at which stars are being born in these galaxies. We are also searching for the first generations of stars to appear in the Universe.

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