NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

Transiting Exoplanets

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JWST Transiting Exoplanet Scientists

Transiting Exoplanet Meetings and Workshops

Transiting Exoplanet White Papers

Beichman, C., et al. 2014 Observations of Transiting Exoplanets with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

Stevenson, K.B., et al. 2016 Transiting Exoplanet Studies and Community Targets for JWST's Early Release Science Program

History of Transiting Exoplanet Science With Observatories Like Hubble And Spitzer

JWST is ~ 100 times more powerful than the Hubble and Spitzer observatories. It has greater sensitivity, higher spatial resolution in the infrared, and significantly higher spectral resolution in the mid-infrared.

Lewis, et al. 2013

NASA's flagship observatories have provided many successes in transiting exoplanet exploration. These missions, like Hubble and Spitzer, have directly led to new discoveries of transiting exoplanets, their properties and has enhanced knowledge of exoplanetary atmospheres. Among the many discoveries are:

  • Confirmation of secondary eclipses
  • Identification of molecules and atoms
  • Primary eclipse detection
  • Day-Night temperature gradients
  • Atmospheric escape

Spitzer IRAC High Precision Photometry

The New Capabilities Provided by JWST

JWST has greater sensitivity, higher spatial resolution in the infrared, and significantly higher spectral resolution in the mid-infrared than the Hubble and Spitzer observatories.  Read more about JWST's imaging and spectroscopic capabililties.

JWST Quick Facts

  • 6.5 meter primary aperture
  • 0.6 - 28.5 micron wavelength range
  • Diffraction-limited 65 mas resolution at 2 microns
  • Unprecedented near-to-mid infrared sensitivity
  • Slitless spectroscopy modes covering 0.6-14 microns
  • Imaging and spectroscopic modes for bright objects

Capabilities Image

MIRI Capabilities

MIRI provides photometric, coronagraphic, and spectroscopic capabilities between 5 and 28 μm. In addition to broad-band filters, MIRI has medium- (R ∼ 70 ) and high- (R ∼ 1550–3250 ) resolution spectroscopic modes covering this entire range. The saturation limit is K ∼ 6 mag for imaging at 8 μm and K ∼ 3–4 mag for spectroscopy.

Beichman, C., et al. 2014, PASP, 126, 1134-1173

Noise Properties:

SensitivitiesMIRI Sensitivities

ToolsMIRI Software Tools

Data Properties:

MIRI Homepage

NIRCam Capabilities

NIRCam has a suite of broad-, medium-, and narrow-band filters covering wavelengths from 0.7 to 5 μm. By combining a fast subarray readout mode with a defocusing lens, NIRCam will be capable of imaging transit host stars as bright as K ∼ 6 mag. NIRCam also has a grism mode covering the 2.4–5 μm range at R ∼ 1700 which, with a fast subarray readout, can observe stars as bright at K ∼ 4 mag.

Beichman, C., et al. 2014, PASP, 126, 1134-1173

Noise Properties:

SensitivitiesNIRCam Sensitivities

ToolsNIRCam Software Tools

Data Properties:

NIRCam Homepage

NIRISS Capabilities

NIRISS has a variety of imaging and spectroscopy modes. Of particular interest for transit science is a grism mode covering wavelengths 0.6 to 2.5 μm with a spectral resolution of R ∼ 300–800 . This grism has been optimized for transit spectroscopy using a cylindrical lens to broaden the spectrum to a width of 20–30 pixels to reduce interpixel noise and to improve the bright-star limit (J ∼ 7–8 mag).

Beichman, C., et al. 2014, PASP, 126, 1134-1173

Noise Properties:

SensitivitiesNIRISS Sensitivities

ToolsNIRISS Software Tools

Data Properties:

NIRISS Homepage

NIRSpec Capabilities

NIRSpec is a highly versatile spectrometer covering the spectral range from 0.7 to 5 μm with spectral resolution options ranging from a R ∼ 100 prism to gratings for R ∼ 1000 and 2700. In addition to its multiobject capability and integral field unit, NIRSpec has a number of fixed slits, including one optimized for transit spectroscopy (1.6″ x 1.6″).

Beichman, C., et al. 2014, PASP, 126, 1134-1173

Noise Properties:

Sensitivities: NIRSpec Sensitivities

Tools: NIRSpec Software Tools

Data Properties:

NIRSpec Homepage

Sample Data and Tools

MIRI Data and Tools

MIRI provides photometric, coronagraphic, and spectroscopic capabilities between 5 and 28 μm. In addition to broad-band filters, MIRI has medium- (R ∼ 70 ) and high- (R ∼ 1550–3250 ) resolution spectroscopic modes covering this entire range. The saturation limit is K ∼ 6 mag for imaging at 8 μm and K ∼ 3–4 mag for spectroscopy.

Beichman, C., et al. 2014, PASP, 126, 1134-1173

Sample Dataset:

Analytic Software Tools:

MIRI Homepage

NIRCam Data and Tools

NIRCam has a suite of broad-, medium-, and narrow-band filters covering wavelengths from 0.7 to 5 μm. By combining a fast subarray readout mode with a defocusing lens, NIRCam will be capable of imaging transit host stars as bright as K ∼ 6 mag. NIRCam also has a grism mode covering the 2.4–5 μm range at R ∼ 1700 which, with a fast subarray readout, can observe stars as bright at K ∼ 4 mag.

Beichman, C., et al. 2014, PASP, 126, 1134-1173

Sample Dataset:

Analytic Software Tools:

NIRCam Homepage

NIRISS Data and Tools

NIRISS has a variety of imaging and spectroscopy modes. Of particular interest for transit science is a grism mode covering wavelengths 0.6 to 2.5 μm with a spectral resolution of R ∼ 300–800 . This grism has been optimized for transit spectroscopy using a cylindrical lens to broaden the spectrum to a width of 20– 30 pixels to reduce interpixel noise and to improve the bright-star limit (J ∼ 7–8 mag).

Beichman, C., et al. 2014, PASP, 126, 1134-1173

Sample Dataset: SOSS 2D Simulations, Sagan Summer Workshop

Analytic Software Tools:

NIRISS Homepage

NIRSpec Data and Tools

NIRSpec is a highly versatile spectrometer covering the spectral range from 0.7 to 5 μm with spectral resolution options ranging from a R ∼ 100 prism to gratings for R ∼ 1000 and 2700. In addition to its multiobject capability and integral field unit, NIRSpec has a number of fixed slits, including one optimized for transit spectroscopy (1.6″ x 1.6″).

Beichman, C., et al. 2014, PASP, 126, 1134-1173

Sample Dataset:

Analytic Software Tools:

NIRSpec Homepage

Example Transiting Exoplanet Science with JWST