The James Webb Space Telescope will be a giant
leap forward in our quest to understand the Universe and our
origins. The Webb will examine every phase of cosmic history: from
the first luminous glows after the Big Bang to the formation of galaxies,
stars, and planets to the evolution of our own solar system. The
science goals for the Webb can be grouped into four themes:
Assembly of Galaxies
will determine how galaxies and dark matter, including gas,
stars, metals, physical structures (like spiral arms) and active nuclei
evolved to the present day.
The observations needed to accomplish these goals
require a telescope that can study the Universe in infrared light.
For this, it needs to be cooled till it is just a few tens of degrees
above Absolute Zero. To accomplish this goal, the Webb will reside
far from the Earth at the L2 region. Why does Webb need to be at L2?
We now have a series of videos that highlight the science that will be peformed by the James Webb Space Telescope.
A detailed description of the science capabilities and
instruments on Webb can be found in the Space Science
Reviews paper by Gardner et. al.