Transiting Exoplanet Studies and Community Targets for JWST 's Early Release Science Program

Stevenson, Kevin B.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Bean, Jacob L.; Beichman, Charles; Fraine, Jonathan; Kilpatrick, Brian M.; Krick, J. E.; Lothringer, Joshua D.; Mandell, Avi M.; Valenti, Jeff A.; Agol, Eric; Angerhausen, Daniel; Barstow, Joanna K.; Birkmann, Stephan M.; Burrows, Adam; Charbonneau, David; Cowan, Nicolas B.; Crouzet, Nicolas; Cubillos, Patricio E.; Curry, S. M.; ... (2016). Transiting Exoplanet Studies and Community Targets for JWST 's Early Release Science Program. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 128(967), 094401. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific 10.1088/1538-3873/128/967/094401

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The James Webb Space Telescope will revolutionize transiting exoplanet atmospheric science due to its capability for continuous, long-duration observations and its larger collecting area, spectral coverage, and spectral resolution compared to existing space-based facilities. However, it is unclear precisely how well JWST will perform and which of its myriad instruments and observing modes will be best suited for transiting exoplanet studies. In this article, we describe a prefatory JWST Early Release Science (ERS) program that focuses on testing specific observing modes to quickly give the community the data and experience it needs to plan more efficient and successful future transiting exoplanet characterization programs. We propose a multi-pronged approach wherein one aspect of the program focuses on observing transits of a single target with all of the recommended observing modes to identify and understand potential systematics, compare transmission spectra at overlapping and neighboring wavelength regions, confirm throughputs, and determine overall performances. In our search for transiting exoplanets that are well suited to achieving these goals, we identify 12 objects (dubbed "community targets") that meet our defined criteria. Currently, the most favorable target is WASP-62b because of its large predicted signal size, relatively bright host star, and location in JWST's continuous viewing zone. Since most of the community targets do not have well-characterized atmospheres, we recommend initiating preparatory observing programs to determine the presence of obscuring clouds/hazes within their atmospheres. Measurable spectroscopic features are needed to establish the optimal resolution and wavelength regions for exoplanet characterization. Other initiatives from our proposed ERS program include testing the instrument brightness limits and performing phase-curve observations.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Space and Habitability (CSH)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > NCCR PlanetS

UniBE Contributor:

Angerhausen, Daniel and Heng, Kevin

Subjects:

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

ISSN:

0004-6280

Publisher:

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Language:

English

Submitter:

Janine Jungo

Date Deposited:

30 Jun 2017 16:04

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2017 16:04

Publisher DOI:

10.1088/1538-3873/128/967/094401

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.97265

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/97265

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