(Link)James Webb Telescope ; Update


Originally presented on ZOOM 18th July at 7pm

DVDs also available

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Originally presented on ZOOM 18th July 2022 at 7pm

DVDs also available



The Webb Space Telescope is a groundbreaking infrared observatory resulting from an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency. It was successfully launched on Christmas Day 2021 from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou in French Guiana.  The James Webb is now successfully in full focus in Space and is in the final stages of the commissioning process.  There will be a big release of images in advance of this lecture.

Above image shows one of first images of the Webb compared to one take by the Spitzer Telescope.



Dr. Patrick Kavanagh
Webb MIRI Calibration/Software Scientist

I work on the development of calibration and software tools for the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) on Webb. MIRI is an international project comprising a consortium of European partners, including the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, the European Space Agency, and partners in the US. I work on many aspects of MIRI including the calibration of the MIRI Medium Resolution Spectrometer, development of the MIRI simulator, and MIRI commissioning activities. During the Webb commissioning period I will work at the Webb Mission Operations Center in Baltimore, USA, to monitor the health of the instrument, review observation plans, and to analyse observational data. I am also part of the supernova SN1987A guaranteed time observation team which will investigate crucial astrophysical questions on supernova physics and dust formation in the Universe.

He moved to Dublin City University where he was awarded his PhD for his research on the study of X-rays from the youngest Galactic massive star clusters in 2011. He then obtained a post-doctoral position at the University of Tuebingen, Germany, where he focused on high-energy studies of supernova remnants, superbubbles and the hot interstellar medium. At the beginning of 2016 he moved to the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies where he continues his research and works as a software developer for the Mid-Infrared Instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope. He also contributes as an external collaborator to the German/Russian eROSITA mission and is a member of the Supernova Remnants and Interstellar Medium’ science working group for the European Space Agency’s Athena mission.