News Release

NAM media invitation: UK panel on first JWST science images

Meeting Announcement

Royal Astronomical Society

The first science images from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be made public on Tuesday 12 July. Immediately after their release, a panel of UK astronomers will respond to the images in a special media briefing at the National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2022).

A joint NASA / ESA / Canadian Space Agency mission, JWST launched in December 2021, and is the largest telescope ever placed in space. It operates at the Lagrange 2 point, 1.5 million km from Earth and opposite the Sun. The telescope detects infrared light and its science goals include observing the first stars and galaxies, and finding planets in orbit around other stars.

JWST has significant UK involvement. One of the key instruments is the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), built under the leadership of scientists and engineers across the UK. Astronomers in UK groups will be among the first to access scientific data from the telescope, with many attending the NAM conference.

Our JWST panel will include four astronomers with science expertise as follows:

Dr Eva-Maria Ahrer, University of Warwick (exoplanets)

Dr Emma Curtis-Lake, University of Hertfordshire (early universe / formation of galaxies)

Dr Hannah Wakeford, University of Bristol (exoplanets)

Dr Stephen Wilkins, University of Sussex / STFC JWST Public Engagement Fellow (early universe / formation of galaxies)

The media briefing will be open to all accredited journalists. It will take place in Room SO17, in the Social Sciences building at the University of Warwick, from 1600 BST.

The briefing will simultaneously run as a Zoom meeting with the following access credentials:

Topic: NAM JWST Media Briefing
Time: Jul 12, 2022 04:00 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 882 2313 4878
Passcode: 949296

Media contacts

Dr Robert Massey
Royal Astronomical Society
Tel: +44 (0)20 7292 3979
Mob: +44 (0)7802 877 699

Ms Gurjeet Kahlon
Royal Astronomical Society
Mob: +44 (0)7802 877700

Ms Cait Cullen
Royal Astronomical Society

Becky Parker-Ellis
STFC Media Manager
Mob: +44 (0)7808 879294

Vicky Hristova
STFC Press Officer
Mob: +44 (0)7518 299657

Science contacts

Dr Eva-Maria Ahrer, University of Warwick (exoplanets)

Dr Emma Curtis-Lake, University of Hertfordshire (early universe / formation of galaxies)

Dr Hannah Wakeford, University of Bristol (exoplanets)

Dr Stephen Wilkins, University of Sussex (early universe / formation of galaxies)

Notes for editors

The NAM 2022 conference is principally sponsored by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the University of Warwick.

About the Royal Astronomical Society

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), founded in 1820, encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science. The RAS organises scientific meetings, publishes international research and review journals, recognises outstanding achievements by the award of medals and prizes, maintains an extensive library, supports education through grants and outreach activities and represents UK astronomy nationally and internationally. Its more than 4,000 members (Fellows), a third based overseas, include scientific researchers in universities, observatories and laboratories as well as historians of astronomy and others.

Follow the RAS on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

About the Science and Technology Facilities Council

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is part of UK Research and Innovation – the UK body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. STFC funds and supports research in particle and nuclear physics, astronomy, gravitational research and astrophysics, and space science and also operates a network of five national laboratories, including the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the Daresbury Laboratory, as well as supporting UK research at a number of international research facilities including CERN, FERMILAB, the ESO telescopes in Chile and many more.

STFC's Astronomy and Space Science programme provides support for a wide range of facilities, research groups and individuals in order to investigate some of the highest priority questions in astrophysics, cosmology and solar system science. STFC's astronomy and space science programme is delivered through grant funding for research activities, and also through support of technical activities at STFC's UK Astronomy Technology Centre and RAL Space at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. STFC also supports UK astronomy through the international European Southern Observatory and the Square Kilometre Array Organisation.

Visit for more information.

Follow STFC on Twitter: @STFC_Matters

About the University of Warwick

The University of Warwick is one of the world’s leading research institutions, ranked in the UK’s top 10 and world top 80 universities. Since its foundation in 1965 Warwick has established a reputation of scientific excellence, through the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Medicine (which includes WMG and the Warwick Medical School).


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