Early Release Science of the Exoplanet WASP-39b with JWST NIRSpec G395H.

Alderson, Lili; Wakeford, Hannah R; Alam, Munazza K; Batalha, Natasha E; Lothringer, Joshua D; Redai, Jea Adams; Barat, Saugata; Brande, Jonathan; Damiano, Mario; Daylan, Tansu; Espinoza, Néstor; Flagg, Laura; Goyal, Jayesh M; Grant, David; Hu, Renyu; Inglis, Julie; Lee, Elspeth K H; Mikal-Evans, Thomas; Ramos-Rosado, Lakeisha; Roy, Pierre-Alexis; ... (2023). Early Release Science of the Exoplanet WASP-39b with JWST NIRSpec G395H. Nature, 614(7949), pp. 664-669. Springer Nature 10.1038/s41586-022-05591-3

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Measuring the abundances of carbon and oxygen in exoplanet atmospheres is considered a crucial avenue for unlocking the formation and evolution of exoplanetary systems1,2. Access to an exoplanet's chemical inventory requires high precision observations, often inferred from individual molecular detections with low-resolution space-based3-5 and high-resolution ground-based6-8 facilities. Here we report the medium-resolution (R≈600) transmission spectrum of an exoplanet atmosphere between 3-5 μm covering multiple absorption features for the Saturn-mass exoplanet WASP-39b9, obtained with JWST NIRSpec G395H. Our observations achieve 1.46[Formula: see text] photon precision, providing an average transit depth uncertainty of 221 ppm per spectroscopic bin, and present minimal impacts from systematic effects. We detect significant absorption from CO2 (28.5[Formula: see text]) and H2O (21.5[Formula: see text]), and identify SO2 as the source of absorption at 4.1 [Formula: see text]m (4.8[Formula: see text]). Best-fit atmospheric models range between 3[Formula: see text] and 10[Formula: see text] solar metallicity, with sub-solar to solar C/O ratios. These results, including the detection of SO2, underscore the importance of characterising the chemistry in exoplanet atmospheres, and showcase NIRSpec G395H as an excellent mode for time series observations over this critical wavelength range10.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Space and Habitability (CSH)

UniBE Contributor:

Lee, Elspeth


500 Science
500 Science > 520 Astronomy
500 Science > 530 Physics




Springer Nature




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Date Deposited:

12 Jan 2023 11:10

Last Modified:

11 Jul 2023 00:25

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