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for the James Webb Space Telescope


NIRCam is the 0.6 to 5 micron imager for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), NASA's successor telescope to Hubble and Spitzer. NIRCam has been assembled and tested at Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Center, shipped to Goddard Space Flight Center, and is now installed into the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM).

JWST will detect the first light-emitting galaxies and star clusters to form in the universe after the Big Bang. The NIRCam design is optimized for finding these "first light" sources. The camera also includes features that will make it a useful tool for studying star formation in the Milky Way and for discovering and characterizing planets around other stars.


NIRCam has two instrument modules pointing to adjacent fields of view, and can observe two wavelengths simultaneously using dichroics. It has five observing modes, including imaging of two 2.2' by 2.2' fields of view, coronagraphic imaging, wide field slitless spectroscopy using grisms, time-series imaging, and grism time series.

For an overview of the instrument design with an instrument map and a quick fact sheet, visit our instrument overview page. Visit the pages on saturation and sensitivity limits, filters, grisms, and coronagraphy, as well as the NIRCam page on JDox, for a more in-depth look at the instrument's features.


Maximizing NIRCam's wide range of capabilities, the NIRCam team has outlined a set of diverse science goals, which includes research on very high redshift galaxies, Y dwarfs, Kuiper Belt objects, and circumstellar disks and planets. Read more about what scientific research the NIRCam team hopes to do with NIRCam once JWST launches.

While the team awaits JWST's launch, we are conducting a set of data challenges to test and improve our current strategies for handling data received from the telescope. Read more about them on our data challenges page.


NIRCam was built by a team of researchers and engineers led by Marcia Rieke at the University of Arizona. Learn about our dynamic team, and read some of our recent publications. Click here for more information about our government and corporate partners.


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