This episode is full of Cool Science. The James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s next flagship observatory, is now scheduled for launch on December 18th of 2021. This infrared observatory with a 6.5 metre segmented deployable primary telescope will rocket off to a distant Lagrange point where it will deploy a tennis-court-sized multi-layer foil sunshield to allow it to cool to -223 degrees Celsius. The mission cost over $10 Billion to put together.

René Doyon obtained his PhD in astrophysics from the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medecine in 1990. He is a full professor at the physics Department of the Université de Montréal, Director of the Institute for Research on Exoplanets and the Mont-Mégantic Observatory. His research activities focus on the search and study of exoplanets, young stars and the development of state-of-the-art astronomical instruments for ground- and spaced-based observatories.

He is principal investigator of the Canadian-built instrument onboard the James Webb Space Telescope, to be launched in 2021. His research team led the development of novel imaging techniques that contributed, in 2008, to obtain the first images of a multiple planetary system outside the Solar system. His distinctions includes the 2009 Polanyi award, and prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and more recently the 2018 Killam Research Fellowship.

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