NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

ERS Program 1288

Radiative Feedback from Massive Stars as Traced by Multiband Imaging and Spectroscopic Mosaics

PI: Olivier N. Berne (Universite de Toulouse)
Co-PIs: Emilie Habart (Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale) and  Els Peeters (University of Western Ontario)

Science Category Stellar Physics icon
Keywords Circumstellar Matter, Dust, HII Regions, Interstellar Medium, Molecular Clouds
Investigators Alain Abergel (Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale)
Edwin Anthony Bergin (University of Michigan)
Jeronimo Bernard-Salas (Open University)
Emeric Bron (Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid)
Jan Cami (The University of Western Ontario)
Stephanie Cazaux (Kapteyn Astronomical Institute)
Emmanuel Dartois (Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale)
Asuncion Fuente (Observatorio Astronomico Nacional)
Javier Goicoechea (Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid)
Karl D. Gordon (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Yoko Okada (Universitat zu Koln)
Takashi Onaka (University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Science)
Massimo Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Markus Roellig (Universitat zu Koln)
Alexander G. G. M. Tielens (Universiteit Leiden)
Silvia Vicente (Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA))
Mark Wolfire (University of Maryland)

Massive stars disrupt their natal molecular cloud material by dissociating molecules, ionizing atoms and molecules, and heating the gas and dust. These processes drive the evolution of interstellar matter in our Galaxy and throughout the Universe from the era of vigorous star formation at redshifts of 1-3, to the present day. Much of this interaction occurs in Photo-Dissociation Regions (PDRs) where far-ultraviolet photons of these stars create a largely neutral, but warm region of gas and dust. PDR emission dominates the IR spectra of star-forming galaxies and also provides a unique tool to study in detail the physical and chemical processes that are relevant for most of the mass in inter- and circumstellar media including diffuse clouds, protoplanetary disk -and molecular cloud surfaces, globules, planetary nebulae, and starburst galaxies. 

We propose to provide template datasets designed to identify key PDR characteristics in JWST spectra in order to guide the preparation of Cycle 2 proposals on star-forming regions in our Galaxy and beyond. We plan to obtain the first spatially resolved, high spectral resolution IR observations of a PDR using NIRCam, NIRSpec and MIRI. These data will test widely used theoretical models and extend them into the JWST era.

We have engaged the broader community as exemplified by the supporting large international team of about 140 scientists. We will assist the community interested in JWST observations of PDRs through science-enabling products that will guide observational planning and allow fast data analysis. We will train the community through telecons and dedicated workshops.

Instrument and Mode MIRI: Medium Resolution Spectroscopy; Imaging
NIRCAM: Imaging
NIRSPEC: IFU Spectroscopy
What does the program enable for the user community?
  • Maps of spectral features
  • Template spectra 
  • Spectral order stitching and stitched cubes
  • Images/spectra cross-calibration
  • pyPAHFIT+ (tool to decompose the spectra into PAH bands, gas lines and dust continuum components) 
  • Line catalog (HII region, Ionization Front, Dissociation Front, molecular zone)
  • H2 fitting tool (tool for analysis of H2 lines)
  • PDR model toolbox (tool to derive the physical conditions)
  • PAHdb spectral analysis tool (decomposition of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon or PAH emission)
  • Ionized gas lines toolbox
How will you engage the user community?
  • Telecons open to the community will be organized on a regular basis
  • Community workshop
  • People interested are welcome to register on our website to keep posted and participate
Team website URL