I am an STFC Webb fellow, based at the University of Hertfordshire. I am working within a team that has hundreds of hours of JWST time to probe the distant, and early Universe. We’ve already visited a very famous patch of sky, the Hubble Ultra Deep field, with the incredible imaging and spectroscopic capabilities of JWST (with results to be released soon!). Throughout my career, I’ve predominantly used Hubble to research how galaxies grow and evolve, especially in the early Universe, including as a junior member of Richard Ellis’s team that visited the HUDF a decade ago to find the most distant galaxies Hubble could see. And now I get to use JWST! This telescope is not disappointing, in fact it is an over-achiever. I’ve held posts in Edinburgh, Paris, Cambridge and now Hertfordshire. As part of my fellowship I’m offering talks to bring the public along on the incredible JWST journey.
Galactic Astrophysics: Webb and the Most Distant Galaxies in the Universe
JWST can peer further back in time than Hubble could see. The results in the weeks after the first science data was made public were astounding, with candidates inhabiting the Universe around 200 million years after the Big Bang. But the power of JWST is not just in the beautiful, sharp imaging. It is, at its heart a spectroscopic mission. With spectra we can confirm or reject distant galaxy candidates, assess the elements present in these galaxies, search for the first stars and galaxies to form, and search for black holes across cosmic time! I will take you on a tour of the most exciting results from the Universe’s early years as revealed by JWST, including discoveries I have had a key role in. It’s incredible that we get to probe the history of the Universe, and the discoveries are really just beginning for this incredible observatory.