– what is the waiting list to use the James Webb telescope and how are decisions made about what projects get priority?

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– what is the waiting list to use the James Webb telescope and how are decisions made about what projects get priority?

In: 7

Someone could get more specifics.

There’s Guaranteed Observation Time (GTO) and (GO) General Observing allotments. GTO goes to agencies who helped build the JWST and GO is open to anyone to submit proposals to use.

There’s a Time Allocation Committee who goes through them all and determines which proposals get approved. They open an application process for a cycle to plan for the next year and filter them out.

There’s also a director discretionary time that allows for unexpected/unplanned observations.

[Here](https://www.nationalacademies.org/documents/embed/link/LF2255DA3DD1C41C0A42D3BEF0989ACAECE3053A6A9B/file/DDFFC2C5C0BE1A860807686E4FCAF975AF9F665EF7DC?noSaveAs=1) is a PowerPoint that explains the process and how it all gets divided up.

Edit:more recent PowerPoint and more concise.

Astronomers who don’t have guaranteed observation time can propose projects for the “General Observer” program. They make proposals through JWST’s Astronomer Proposal Tool. Doing this they write out a title and abstract for their proposal saying what the goal of the project is. They then detail what the observation target is and the acquisition details (instrument modes, exposures, etc).

This goes to Space Telescope Science Institute, who choose between projects. The institute has a committee of panelists who first categorise the proposals. The small (observation time) proposals are ranked by external panelists (experts who aren’t part of the STScI), while large proposals are ranked by the committee panelists. They rank based on how important the potential impact is to the subfield of the proposal, how much impact it might have on other subfields, and how much the project benefits from using JWST Vs other telescopes.

Once they’ve done this, the panelists then discuss the projects that have got decent rankings and together decide which ones to recommend to the director of the STScI.