Cape Cod's Nature Place

The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

Charles Law - James Webb Space Telescope

The launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will herald a new era of astronomical discovery. Astronomers will see the very first stars and galaxies formed in the universe, detect molecules in the atmospheres of planets around other stars, reveal supernova explosions in unprecedented detail, and much more. In this talk, Charles will provide some historical context to how JWST was conceived, designed, and built, and what exactly makes it so uniquely powerful for modern astronomy. He will outline a few of the major science goals that JWST will address in the coming years, with a particular focus on what JWST will tell us about the chemistry of planet formation and what we will soon learn about how our solar system came to be and the origins of life as we know it.

Charles is a 4th-year PhD student and NSF Graduate Research Fellow at Harvard University and the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian. His research focuses on the chemistry of star and planet formation. He uses observations from radio telescopes such as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to characterize the chemical environments in which young planets are forming. As an AAS Astronomy Ambassador, Charles is also interested in science communication and is invested in increasing access and promoting engagement in astronomy and STEM fields.

If you missed this terrific presentation on November 13, 2021, you can view it here:


Webb Space Telescope with Charles Law from Lower Cape TV on Vimeo.