NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

ERS Program 1366

The Transiting Exoplanet Community Early Release Science Program

PI: Natalie Batalha (NASA Ames Research Center)
Co-PIs: Jacob L. Bean (University of Chicago) and Kevin B. Stevenson (Space Telescope Science Institute)

Science Category Planets and Planet Formation icon
Keywords Extrasolar Planets, Planetary Atmospheres, Transits

Munazza Alam (Harvard University)
Natasha Batalha (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Bjorn  Benneke (Universite de Montreal)
Zach K. Berta-Thompson (University of Colorado at Boulder)
Jasmina Blecic (New York University)
Giovanni Bruno (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Aarynn Carter (University of Exeter)
John Chapman (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Ian Crossfield (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Nicolas Michael Crouzet (Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias)
Leen Decin (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
Brice-Olivier Demory (University of Bern)
Jean-Michel  Desert (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
Diana Dragomir (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Tom M. Evans (University of Exeter)
Jonathan Fortney (University of California - Santa Cruz)
Jonathan Fraine (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Peter Gao (NASA Ames Research Center)
Antonio Garcia Munoz (Technische Universitat Berlin)
Neale Gibson (The Queen's University of Belfast)
Jayesh Goyal (University of Exeter)
Joseph Harrington (University of Central Florida)
Kevin  Heng (University of Bern)
Renyu  Hu (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Eliza M.-R. Kempton (University of Maryland)
Sarah Kendrew (ESA-European Space Astronomy Centre)
Brian Kilpatrick (Brown University)
Heather A. Knutson (California Institute of Technology)
Laura Kreidberg (Harvard University)
Jessica Krick (California Institute of Technology)
Michael Line (Arizona State University
Pierre-Olivier Lagage (Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA))
Monika Lendl (Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Mercedes Lopez-Morales (Smithsonian Institution Astrophysical Observatory)
Tom Louden (The University of Warwick)
Nikku Madhusudhan (University of Cambridge)
Avi Mandell (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
Megan Mansfield (University of Chicago)
Erin M. May (University of Michigan)
Giuseppe Morello (University College London)
Caroline Morley (Harvard University)
Julianne I. Moses (Space Science Institute)
Nikolay Nikolov (University of Exeter)
Vivien Parmentier (University of Arizona)
Seth Redfield (Wesleyan University)
Jessica Roberts (University of Colorado at Boulder)
Everett Schlawin (University of Arizona)
David Kent Sing (University of Exeter)
Jessica Spake (University of Exeter)
Adam Showman (University of Arizona)
Mark Raboin Swain (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Kamen Todorov (Universiteit van Amsterdam
Angelos Tsiaras (University College London)
Olivia Venot (Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques)
William Waalkes (University of Colorado at Boulder)
Hannah Ruth Wakeford (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Peter J. Wheatley (The University of Warwick)
Robert Thomas Zellem (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)


JWST presents the opportunity to transform our understanding of planets and the origins of life by revealing the atmospheric compositions, structures, and dynamics of transiting exoplanets in unprecedented detail. However, the high-precision, time-series observations required for such investigations have unique technical challenges, and our prior experience with HST, Spitzer, and Kepler indicates that there will be a steep learning curve when JWST becomes operational.

We propose an ERS program to accelerate the acquisition and diffusion of technical expertise for transiting exoplanet observations with JWST. This program will also provide a compelling set of representative datasets, which will enable immediate scientific breakthroughs. We will exercise the time-series modes of all four instruments that have been identified as the consensus highest priority by the community, observe the full suite of transiting planet characterization geometries (transits, eclipses, and phase curves), and target planets with host stars that span an illustrative range of brightnesses. The proposed observations were defined through an inclusive and transparent process that had participation from JWST instrument experts and international leaders in transiting exoplanet studies. The targets have been vetted with previous measurements, will be observable early in the mission, and have exceptional scientific merit. We will engage the community with a two-phase Data Challenge that culminates with the delivery of planetary spectra, time-series instrument performance reports, and open-source data analysis toolkits.

Instrument and Mode MIRI: Low Resolution Spectroscopy
NIRCam: Grism Time Series
NIRISS: Single-object Slitless Spectroscopy
NIRSpec: Bright Object Time Series
What does the program enable for the user community?
  • Data analysis recipe for each dataset
  • Field guide to instrument systematics
How will you engage the user community?  
Team website URL