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Webb @ STScI Update

K. Pontoppidan (pontoppi[at]stsci.edu)

JWST Communication from STScI

JWSTObserver, the official STScI system for communication with the scientific community, continues to provide you with news and information about observing with Webb. For the most up-to-date JWST information for scientists, follow @JWSTObserver on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to the JWSTObserver newsletter. The JWST Observer website at jwst.stsci.edu was recently updated to a new design, but still contains the same information, news, and events as usual.

Master Class

JWST Master Class
November 18–22, 2019

The first JWST Master Class, taking place at STScI in Baltimore November 18–22, 2019, has been announced. The Master Class is a 4.5-day "train-the-trainer"-style workshop for proposal planning, intended to seed our distributed observer community with local expertise. As the name suggests, train-the-trainer workshops train participants in the subject matter and empower them to educate others in that subject matter. Workshop participants are expected to organize training events in their local communities, in a three-month window before the JWST GO1 proposal deadline, nominally January to April 2020. The ultimate goal of this model is to reach a wide fraction of geographically dispersed Webb Observers. Travel support is available, as well as support for the participant-organized local events (for participants at US institutions).

ESA will organize a similar train-the-trainer workshop in Europe in January 2020. For more information on applying for the JWST Master Class, please see the call for applications.

Rehearsals at the Mission Operations Center

In the course of the deployment and initial checkout while Webb travels to L2, and during science operations, daily communications with the mission operations center at the institute will be essential. In September 2018, the JWST flight operations team successfully completed two critical communications rehearsals. Many more rehearsals of various aspects of JWST operations are planned in the coming months. 

The first rehearsal demonstrated that—from the moment Webb launches through the first six hours of flight—complex exchanges could be accomplished among five service providers around the world, alternately conveying command and telemetry communications. The second rehearsal showed that our mission operations center could successfully command the telescope. The success of these exercises is a testament to the hard work of NASA, our industry partners, and the flight operations team, as well as teams across the country and around the world.

JWST User Committee

The JWST User Committee (JSTUC) met on January 30th, 2019 to be updated on the status of the JWST Science and Operations Center, and on the science planning and schedule for the Cycle 1 Call for Proposals.

Following the meeting, the JSTUC sent a recommendation letter to STScI Director, Ken Sembach, on the process and timing of soliciting large (100–1000 hours) observing programs for Webb. This letter, as well as previous correspondence from the JSTUC to the institute, is posted on the JWST Observer website.

The JSTUC welcomes feedback from the JWST Observer community; they may be contacted by email on jstuc@stsci.edu.

JWST at the AAS and DPS

AAS 233
Dr. Misty Bentz speaking about her ERS proposal at the NASA Hyperwall at AAS 233.

The institute supported Webb at the winter AAS in Seattle, Washington and at the 50th Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee. At the AAS, JWST was represented at the STScI booth where the astronomical community could get their questions about the scientific capabilities of JWST and proposing answered, as well as explore Webb in the STScI Virtual Reality experience. A number of the investigators from the Directors' Discretionary Early Release Science (DD-ERS) program presented their science at the NASA Hyperwall. The DPS meeting featured a JWST Solar System Observers Town Hall, which updated the planetary science community on planned GTO and ERS observations of Solar System targets, and discussed how the Webb proposal tools can be used to plan Solar System observations.