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19 September 2007 Hunting planets and observing disks with the JWST NIRCam coronagraph
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The expected stable point spread function, wide field of view, and sensitivity of the NIRCam instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will allow a simple, classical Lyot coronagraph to detect warm Jovian-mass companions orbiting young stars within 150 pc as well as cool Jupiters around the nearest low-mass stars. The coronagraph can also be used to study protostellar and debris disks. At λ = 4.5 μm, where young planets are particularly bright relative to their stars, and at separations beyond ~0.5 arcseconds, the low space background gives JWST significant advantages over ground-based telescopes equipped with adaptive optics. We discuss the scientific capabilities of the NIRCam coronagraph, describe the technical features of the instrument, and present end-to-end simulations of coronagraphic observations of planets and circumstellar disks.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
John E. Krist, Charles A. Beichman, John T. Trauger, Marcia J. Rieke, Steve Somerstein, Joseph J. Green, Scott D. Horner, John A. Stansberry, Fang Shi, Michael R. Meyer, Karl R. Stapelfeldt, and Thomas L. Roellig "Hunting planets and observing disks with the JWST NIRCam coronagraph", Proc. SPIE 6693, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets III, 66930H (19 September 2007);


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