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Proceedings Paper

Hunting planets and observing disks with the JWST NIRCam coronagraph
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Paper Abstract

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.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 September 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6693, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets III, 66930H (19 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.734873
Show Author Affiliations
John E. Krist, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Charles A. Beichman, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
John T. Trauger, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Marcia J. Rieke, The Univ. of Arizona/Steward Observatory (United States)
Steve Somerstein, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. (United States)
Joseph J. Green, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Scott D. Horner, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Ctr. (United States)
John A. Stansberry, The Univ. of Arizona/Steward Observatory (United States)
Fang Shi, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Michael R. Meyer, The Univ. of Arizona/Steward Observatory (United States)
Karl R. Stapelfeldt, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Thomas L. Roellig, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6693:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets III
Daniel R. Coulter, Editor(s)

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