Selections Made for the JWST Director’s Discretionary Early Release Science Program

November 13, 2017

Jwst science capabilities

Following the recommendation of the Time Allocation Committee and a thorough technical review, the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) Director Ken Sembach has selected 13 science programs for the JWST Director’s Discretionary Early Release Science Program (DD-ERS). It is anticipated that the DD-ERS observations will take place during the first 5 months of JWST science operations, following the 6-month commissioning period.

With a total award of 460 hours of JWST observing time, the selected programs span a wide range of science areas as well as instrument modes, such as surveys of galaxies and their nuclei, stellar clusters and star formation near and far, the chemistry of interstellar and circumstellar matter, and the characterization of exoplanets. The successful programs include 16 Principal investigators (PIs) and co-PIs from North America and 6 from Europe, with broad world-wide participation.

Additional statistics:

  • The selected programs represent participation by 253 investigators from 18 countries, 22 U.S. states, and 106 unique institutions.
  • Of the 253 investigators, 157 are based in the U.S., 84 are from ESA countries, 7 are from Canada, and 5 are from other countries (Australia and Chile), with 248 unique investigators.
  • There are an additional 449 science collaborators involved in the programs. 
  • The three largest teams have combined totals of 138, 105, and 80 investigators and collaborators.

The successful DD-ERS teams are now tasked with developing "science-enabling products," such as documentation for their programs, scientific software, and data products — all designed to help the full astronomical community maximize the science output of the JWST mission. Continue reading…