Observing Planets with JWST/NIRCAM


C. Beichman (1), Rene Doyon (2), Tom Greene (3), Scott Horner(3), John Krist (4), D. McCarthy (5), Michael Meyer (6), Marcia Rieke (5), Eugene Serabyn (4), John Stansberry (5), John Stauffer(1)


(1) IPAC, Caltech/JPL; (2) Univ. Montreal; (3) NASA Ames; (4) JPL; (5) Univ Arizona; (6)ETH


I will present an overview of NIRCam instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope with a focus on what NIRCam offers for the study of exoplanets. NIRCam is equipped with Lyot coronagraphs which will look for gas giant planets orbiting nearby young stars, probing a mass range down to a few times the mass of Saturn and orbital separations from 50-250 AU. Using intermediate and narrow band filters NIRCam will characterize the physical properties of these planets and their atmospheres. I will discuss various samples of target stars, contrasting NIRCam with other JWST instruments as well as ground-based facilities. NIRCam’s coronagraphs will also image protostellar and debris disks in scattered light looking for signatures of ices and other mineralogical species. Other exoplanet programs with NIRCam include using NIRCam’s grism to make spectroscopic measurements of transiting systems and determining the low mass end of the "stellar-brown dwarf-planet" mass function down to levels well below a Jupiter mass in nearby star formation regions.

Attached documents

Lyot2010proc s7 talk BeichmanC.pdf
PDF, 7.2 Mb