This artist’s illustration represents the scientific capabilities of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Both imaging and spectroscopy will be central to the Webb mission. NASA

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is set to be launched in 2019, and the space agency has already chosen observation programs for the first five months of Webb’s science operations.

The programs were chosen from a pool of proposals accepted by Space Telescope Science Institute’s call for early release science proposals, and include examining Jupiter and its moons, searching for organic molecules forming around infant stars, weighing supermassive black holes lurking in galactic cores, and hunting for baby galaxies born in the early universe.

"I’m thrilled to see the list of astronomers’ most fascinating targets for the Webb telescope, and extremely eager to see the results. We fully expect to be surprised by what we find," said John C. Mather, Senior Project Scientist for the Webb telescope and Senior Astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in a press release.

The Director’s Discretionary Early Release Science (DD-ERS) will be used by the chosen programs. The DD-ERS includes data that covers all of Webb’s targets for study. These include a plethora of celestial bodies from planets in our solar system to the most distant galaxies.

The program provides anyone looking for Webb’s data with immediate access so they have the opportunity to analyze the data and plan follow-up observations.

"We were impressed by the high quality of the proposals received," said Ken Sembach, Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, in the release. "These observing programs not only will generate great science, but also will be a unique resource for demonstrating the investigative capabilities of this extraordinary observatory to the worldwide scientific community."

The observations will include data from all four of the telescopes’ science instruments on-board. The astronomical community waits with bated breath to see what the Webb telescope can do. NASA believes that the 5-year lifetime for this mission will push the scientific community to collect the data rapidly and learn to use of the telescopes' advanced capabilities.

"We want the research community to be as scientifically productive as possible, as early as possible, which is why I am so pleased to be able to dedicate nearly 500 hours of director’s discretionary time to these ERS observations," said Sembach.

The DD-ERS observations received nearly 100 proposals, according to the report. These proposals were submitted in August 2017. Of those, 13 programs requesting 460 hours of telescope time were selected following review by panels of subject matter experts and the STScI director.

The James Webb Space Telescope, the scientific complement to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, will become the space organization’s premier space observatory of the next decade. Webb is an international project led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency).

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, earlier scheduled for launch in October 2018, will now take at least another 6 months before it succeeds Hubble Space Telescope as the most powerful eye in the sky. It will be launched aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from the Guiana Space Center in the spring of 2019, NASA announced in September.