Episode 26: James Webb Space Telescope with Andrea Banzatti
February 7, 2022
Andrea Banzatti, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics at Texas State University joins the Big Ideas TXST podcast to discuss the observatory time he has been awarded on NASA's recently-launched James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).
JWST is NASA's flagship infrared telescope designed to study exoplanets and distant galaxies. The telescope was successfully launched Dec. 25, 2021, and is now at its permanent home at the L2 Lagrangian point, where it will observe the deepest reaches of the cosmos. Banzatti will use 19 hours of observation time during the telescope's first cycle of observations in the summer of 2022 for the research program, "The infrared water spectrum as a tracer of pebble delivery to rocky planets."
Banzatti earned his Ph.D. at ETH Zurich, Switzerland in 2013, after earning both his master's and bachelor's degrees in physics from the University of Milan, Italy. Banzatti's research interests include the observations of protoplanetary disks and exoplanet formation across the wavelength spectrum (ultra-violet, optical, near- and mid-infrared, and radio), and across disk evolutionary stages (primordial, transition and debris disks). Much of his research focuses on monitoring biologically-relevant gas chemistry, such as water and organic molecules, in planet-forming regions.