Highlights from SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation

Looking forward. Looking back. The best of SPIE Astro.

Free webinar for astro engineers: Webb is ready to launch

Join JATIS Editor in Chief Mark Clampin as he provides an overview of the telescope and three of the four instruments aboard. Presenters will have time to answer audience questions, review lessons learned, and discuss hopes for the science that results from Webb's historic launch.

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Polarization Calibration of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope

Presenter: Stacey Sueoka
National Solar Observatory, National Science Foundation's Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope
30 November 2021 | 1:00 PM PT (2100 UTC)
Free webinar

Featured presentations from the astro-engineering community


Polarization is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything

Frans Snik, Leiden University (Netherlands)
Snik discusses how the polarization of light from astronomical objects enables researchers to boost the contrast and unambiguously characterize planetary atmospheres and surfaces. Combining polarimetry at systems level with adaptive optics, wavefront sensing, and coronagraphy—which use polarization-based and liquid-crystal techniques—allows direct observations of Earth-like exoplanets with future extremely large ground-based telescopes and dedicated space telescopes.

The Event Horizon Telescope: the impact of an image and finding Pōwehi

Jessica Dempsey, East Asian Observatory, Event Horizon Telescope
An overview of the technical achievements made by the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, which gave the world the image of the shadow around the supermassive black hole at the heart of the M87 galaxy and the story of its Hawaiian name, Powehi.

Future Science with the James Webb Space Telescope

John Mather, James Webb Space Telescope, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Slated to launch December 2021, JWST will extend the discoveries of the Hubble and Spitzer observatories in all areas from cosmology, galaxies, stars, and exoplanets to our own Solar System. At the 2018 SPIE meeting, Mather outlined the planned observing program, showing how the instrument capabilities enable new discoveries in new territories.

New technology for new astronomy

John Mather, James Webb Space Telescope, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
After four centuries of technology development, since 1609, researchers are still producing exponential growth and technical capabilities in scientific discoveries in astronomy. Mather provides an overview of some of the most exciting projects happening in astronomy right now, as presented during the 2020 meeting.

An engineering history of the James Webb Space Telescope

Lee Feinberg, JWST Optical Telescope Element Manager, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
The JWST Optical Telescope Element (OTE) is a deployed cryogenic telescope with a 6.5 meter diameter segmented primary mirror that aligns in space. This revolutionary telescope has been the work of over a 1000 engineers, technicians, and scientists over the past 20 years and includes numerous technical innovations and first-of-a-kind achievements. Look back in time at the amazing history of the telescope development including the technology, architecture, design, manufacturing, and integration and testing phases.

Looking back to SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2018


The community last gathered in person in 2018, hence why SPIE, chairs and all constituents related to astrophotonics are so eager to meet again in person in 2022. This conference supports leading engineers and scientists doing important work, sharing research, and presenting the latest advancements to help further the astrophotonics industry. See photos from the 2018 event below. 

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