NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

ERS Program 1386

High Contrast Imaging of Exoplanets and Exoplanetary Systems with JWST

PI: Sasha Hinkley (University of Exeter)
Co-PIs: Andrew Skemer (University of California - Santa Cruz) and  Beth Biller (University of Edinburgh)

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

Isabelle Baraffe (University of Exeter)
Mickael Bonnefoy (Max-Planck-Institut fur Astronomie, Heidelberg)
Brendan Bowler (University of Texas at Austin)
Aarynn Carter (University of Exeter)
Christine Chen (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Elodie Choquet (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Thayne M. Currie (National Astronomical Obs of Japan (NAOJ), SubaruTelescope)
Camilla Danielski (Observatoire de Paris - Section de Meudon)
Jonathan Fortney (University of California - Santa Cruz)
Carol A. Grady (Eureka Scientific Inc.)
Alexandra Greenbaum (University of Michigan)
Dean C. Hines (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Markus R. Janson (Stockholm University)
Paul George Kalas (University of California - Berkeley)
Grant Kennedy (The University of Warwick)
Adam L. Kraus (University of Texas at Austin)
Anne-Marie Lagrange (Universite de Grenoble I)
Michael C. Liu (University of Hawaii)
Mark S. Marley (NASA Ames Research Center)
Christian Marois (Dominion Astrophysical Observatory)
Brenda Matthews (National Research Council of Canada)
Dimitri Mawet (California Institute of Technology)
Stanimir A. Metchev (The University of Western Ontario)
Michael R. Meyer (University of Michigan)
Maxwell Andrew Millar-Blanchaer (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Marshall Perrin (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Laurent Pueyo (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Sascha Patrick Quanz (Eidgenossiche Technische Hochschule (ETH))
Julien Rameau (Universite de Montreal)
Timothy J. Rodigas (Carnegie Institution of Washington)
Steph Sallum (University of California - Santa Cruz)
Benjamin Sargent (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Joshua Schlieder (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
Glenn Schneider (University of Arizona)
Karl Stapelfeldt (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Pascal Tremblin (Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA))
Arthur Vigan (CNRS, Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille)
Marie Ygouf (California Institute of Technology)


JWST will transform our ability to characterize directly imaged planets and circumstellar debris disks, including the first spectroscopic characterization of directly imaged exoplanets at wavelengths beyond 5 microns, providing a powerful diagnostic of cloud particle properties, atmospheric structure, and composition. To lay the groundwork for these science goals, we propose a 52-hour ERS program to rapidly establish optimal strategies for JWST high contrast imaging. We will acquire:

  1. Coronagraphic imaging of a newly discovered exoplanet companion, and a well-studied circumstellar debris disk with NIRCam & MIRI;
  2. Spectroscopy of a wide separation planetary mass companion with NIRSPEC & MIRI; and
  3. Deep aperture masking interferometry with NIRISS.  

Our primary goals are to:

  1. Generate representative datasets in modes to be commonly used by the exoplanet and disk imaging communities;
  2. Deliver science enabling products to empower a broad user base to develop successful future investigations; and
  3. Carry out breakthrough science by characterizing exoplanets for the first time over their full spectral range from 2-28 microns, and debris disk spectrophotometry out to 15 microns sampling the 3 micron water ice feature.

Our team represents the  majority of the community dedicated to exoplanet and disk imaging and has decades of experience with high contrast imaging algorithms and pipelines.  We have developed a collaboration management plan and several organized working groups to ensure we can rapidly and effectively deliver high quality Science Enabling Products to the community.

Instrument and Mode MIRI: Coronagraphic Imaging; Medium Resolution Spectroscopy
NIRCam: Coronagraphic Imaging; Imaging
NIRISS: Aperture Masking Interferometry
NIRSpec: IFU Spectroscopy
What does the program enable for the user community?
  • A 52-hour program to generate representative datasets specific to the exoplanet and debris disk imaging community across all four JWST instruments.
  • Deliver a wide range of science enabling products back to the community.
  • Characterize exoplanets for the first time over their full spectral range from 2-28 μm, and disks out to 15 μm.
How will you engage the user community?  
Team website URL