Université de Montréal: James Webb Space Telescope: our experts speak out

The James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled to be launched on December 22 with sophisticated instruments on board, including a Canadian guidance sensor largely developed by researchers at Université de Montréal.

Led by Professor René Doyon of the Department of Physics, the astrophysicists of UdeM’s Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx) will observe the launch from near and far. Experts in infrared instrumentation, the UdeM team includes professors, scientists and PhD students.

All are now available for comment to journalists.

On launch day, Professor Doyon will be on hand in Kourou, French Guiana, to witness the departure of the telescope aboard an Ariane 5 rocket, while research associate Loïc Albert will observe the process from the mission’s operation centre in Baltimore, Md.

The result of an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, the James Webb will orbit the Sun at 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, becoming the most important observatory for thousands of astronomers around the world.

Here are the UdeM experts involved in the project and its Canadian component, the key instrument known by its acronym FGS/NIRISS (Fine Guidance Sensor / Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph).