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UBC will host a two-day training workshop for JWST users (at any level of familiarity).

The first day we will have an information session on the different JWST instruments, observations modes and proposal preparation tools.

On the second day we will offer two hands-on sessions to help you get started with your own proposal.

Disclaimer (provided by STScI)

JWST Master Class graduates offer a valuable service to their local communities by organizing JWST proposal planning workshops. They help potential proposer find the basic information they need to prepare for JWST, and they facilitate the initial learning. Graduates are not representatives of STScI and there is no expectation that they will be able to respond to all inquires and questions. The final authority for all information about JWST science and the proposal process resides with the JWST Documentation System (JDox), the STScI Helpdesk and the JWST science website.

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Please fill out the following form for registration.

JWST Workshop
James Webb Space Telescope 2009 top.jpg
Event Details
Dates: January 30 & 31, 2020
Venue: UBC Department of
Physics and Astronomy
JWST Links

JWST Website
JDox (User Documentation)
Youtube Channel

There is no registration fee.


Dates and Times

Date Morning: 9am-12:30pm Break Afternoon 2pm-5:30pm
Thursday 30 January Introduction

JWST Overview Basics of IR Dectectors

Basic Tools


Join the UBC AstroLunch in Hennings 310

Proposal Tools

ETC (Exposure Time Calculator)

APT (Proposal Tool)

Friday 31 January MOS Hands-On Session Free General Hands-On Session


Hennings 318, UBC Department of Physics and Astronomy

6224 Agricultural Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1


We recommend finding accommodation on or close to the UBC campus.

Suites are available for a wide range of prices through the UBC housing website.

Other on-campus options are available at:

Preparation before the Workshop

Please download and install the following tools on your laptop computer before attending the workshop:

Please also complete the following tasks:

Activities & Material


Astronomer's Proposal Tool Demo

Exposure-Time Calculator Exercise

Exercise 1: Getting started

  1. Point your favourite browser to
  2. If you have never used the ETC before, click on the green “Quick Start” button and follow the on-screen directions for a brief tutorial on basic functionality.
  3. Click on the “Exposure Time Calculator” label in the top left to get back to the beginning. You can always use this label to return to the ETC landing page.
  4. If you do not already have a MyST account, click on the “Create User” button, click “OK” in the dialog box that pops up, click on “New User or Guest User,” and follow the instructions to create an account. You will need a MyST account to log in to the ETC and save workbooks.
  5. Click on the blue “Login” button to enter the ETC. Click “Proceed” on the next screen.
  6. You are now on the “Available Workbooks” page where you can view your full list of workbooks.
  7. Click on the “Sample Workbooks” and “Example Science Program Workbooks” dropdowns to familiarize yourself with the options for pre-made workbooks. Select an item from either dropdown to add a copy of that workbook to your list. Click the “Load” button to open the workbook in a new tab in your browser and examine its contents. Note: This will open a new browser tab.
  8. Return to the Available Workbooks browser tab and click the “Create New Workbook” button. This will add an empty workbook to your list. Click on the load button to open this workbook.

Exercise 6: Uploading spectra

  1. Click on the “Upload Spectra” tab.
  2. Click on the blue question mark icon to view the JDOX page on the process of uploading spectra. Familiarize yourself with the proper format for spectra that can be uploaded to the ETC.
  3. Now, return to the ETC and click on the “Choose File” button. Select the file provided with this homework. This file contains a model of the reflected and thermal components of Pluto’s spectrum between 0.5 and 30 microns (without absorption features).
  4. Click the “Upload” button. The ETC will present a dialog box asking you to confirm the units in the file. Note: The ETC assumes that the input spectrum is formatted with columns in units of microns and mJy. Be careful when uploading your own spectra!
  5. The file now shows up in the list with the name, minimum wavelength, and maximum wavelength. Note: Once a spectrum is uploaded, it cannot be removed. Additionally, you cannot download a spectrum from the ETC. Any uploaded spectra in a workbook you share with a collaborator will be available to that collaborator.
  6. Create a new scene and a new source.
  7. In the Source Editor, on the “Continuum” tab, you will see an option for “Uploaded File” under the “Spectral Energy Distribution” heading. Click this radio button and select “Pluto.txt” from the dropdown menu.
  8. Move to the “Renorm” tab, scroll to the bottom, and select the “Do not renormalize” option. In many cases, an uploaded spectrum will already be properly normalized (in units of mJy)! Note: You can of course still renormalize an uploaded spectrum if you like.
  9. Pluto is not quite a point source, so move to the “Shape” tab and select the “Extended” option.
  10. Select the “Flat” “Flux distribution” from the dropdown menu and choose semi-major and semi-minor axes of 0.1” each. Leave the “Normalization choice” on “Integrated Flux.”
  11. In the “Select a Scene” pane, click the star next to the Pluto scene. This adds a purple star next to this scene and marks it as the new default scene. Note: This will be the default scene when creating calculations. You can check this by clicking on the “Scene” tab in the Calculation Editor pane and looking at current selections in the “Scene for Calculation” and “Sources in that Scene” dropdowns.

Spectrum of Pluto:

Multi-Object Spectroscopy

Other Activities

The following exercises were developed by STScI members for the JWST MasterClass that took place in November 2019. The Tools have been updated since then, therefore you might find some inconsistencies. If you need assistance we will try our best to help you with the use of the Tools but please keep in mind that we are not experts in every observing mode.

Mosaicking Exercise


APT file

Parallels Observations

Exercise 1:

Exercise 2:

High Contrast Imaging

Help Desk Q&A

Q: Hello, here we have the first question from of our participants, what tools are available for simulating AMI observations of objects with extended structure?

A: The Mirage tool may be able to do this. The link to the tool is here: