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Astro Seminar

JWST observations of star formation, evolved stars and stellar populations.

Speaker: Olivia Jones (SFTC-UKRI Edinburgh)
Date: Wednesday 8 March 2023
Time: 14:00
Venue: N3.28/Zoom

JWST was launched from French Guiana on Christmas Day in 2021. JWST’s unparalleled sensitivity and spatial resolution will revolutionise our view of resolved stellar populations and star-formation, not just in the Local Group, but out to 20 Mpc. Within this volume, there are hundreds of galaxies with diverse properties for which we can obtain the first complete view of their chemical, star formation and kinematical histories. During JWST’s 1st year of operations I have obtained over 120 hours of observing time to characterise metal-poor star formation and dust production in the circumstellar shells of evolved stars, recent SNe and SN remnants over a broad range of metallicity (1/50th to 1/2 solar). Targets include the iconic supernovae: SN1987a, the Wolf–Rayet Star - WR 140 - with its spectacular nested dust shells. NGC 346, the most active star-forming region in the Small Magellanic Cloud; and NGC 6288 and 1 Zw 18 which provides a depiction of massive star formation in conditions which resemble those of the early metal-free Universe. In this talk I will give an overview of these programs and highlight some of the early results.