Meet Jane Rigby, senior project scientist for JWST and advocate for LGBTQ+ astronomers

She believes her experiences as part of the LGBTQ+ community have made her a better astronomer

A photo of Jane Rigby standing in front of a large galaxy image.

Jane Rigby’s expertise and enthusiasm have made her a public face for the James Webb Space Telescope.

Britt Griswold and Jay Friedlander/NASA

One of a telescope operator’s primary jobs is to keep any stray light out of the instrument. Earthly and other unwelcome photons can swamp the cosmic light from distant stars and galaxies. During more than a decade as a project scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope, Jane Rigby obsessed over minimizing light leaks — with extraordinary success.