Dr. Marcia Rieke,
Regents Professor of Astronomy
University of Arizona
The James Webb Space Telescope marks a new era in space astronomy. The telescope itself is the most complicated space astronomy mission ever launched with an instrument suite designed to take maximum advantage of the telescope’s capabilities. Because of the nature of Webb, the commissioning process was highly structured with a carefully designed timeline. I will discuss some of the challenges inherent in the commissioning process, and how the team met the challenges and how the mission moved from commissioning to routine operations. I will also present some of the early science results.
Marcia Rieke is a Regents Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona. Her research interests include infrared observations of the center of the Milky Way and of other galactic nuclei and observation of the infrared sky at as faint a level as possible to study distant galaxies. These research interests have driven her to characterize and develop large-format, low-noise infrared detector arrays. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She came to the University of Arizona in 1976 as a postdoctoral fellow and has been there ever since. She has served as the Deputy Principal Investigator on NICMOS, (the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer for the Hubble Space Telescope), the Outreach Coordinator for the Spitzer Space Telescope, and now is the Principal Investigator for the near-infrared camera (NIRCam) for the James Webb Space Telescope. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences and was recently named the Professor Elizabeth Roemer Endowed Chair in Astronomy.