Astronomy & Telescopes

The JWST Early Release Science Program for Direct Observations of Exoplanetary Systems IV: NIRISS Aperture Masking Interferometry Performance and Lessons Learned

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
October 21, 2023
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The JWST Early Release Science Program for Direct Observations of Exoplanetary Systems IV: NIRISS Aperture Masking Interferometry Performance and Lessons Learned
Example images of HIP 65426 (top panels) and HD 116084 (bottom panels) before and after bad pixel correction (left and right panels, respectively). The color scale has been stretched so that it ranges from 0 to 1% of the peak counts in each image. Residual striping features are seen in the HD 116084 images, which we discuss in Section 4.1. The pixel size in all images is 65 mas, for a total field of view of 5.2 × 5.2 arcseconds. — astro-ph.EP

We present a performance analysis for the aperture masking interferometry (AMI) mode on board the James Webb Space Telescope Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (JWST/NIRISS).

Thanks to self-calibrating observables, AMI accesses inner working angles down to and even within the classical diffraction limit. The scientific potential of this mode has recently been demonstrated by the Early Release Science (ERS) 1386 program with a deep search for close-in companions in the HIP 65426 exoplanetary system.

As part of ERS 1386, we use the same dataset to explore the random, static, and calibration errors of NIRISS AMI observables. We compare the observed noise properties and achievable contrast to theoretical predictions. We explore possible sources of calibration errors, and show that differences in charge migration between the observations of HIP 65426 and point-spread function calibration stars can account for the achieved contrast curves.

Lastly, we use self-calibration tests to demonstrate that with adequate calibration, NIRISS AMI can reach contrast levels of ∼9−10 mag. These tests lead us to observation planning recommendations and strongly motivate future studies aimed at producing sophisticated calibration strategies taking these systematic effects into account. This will unlock the unprecedented capabilities of JWST/NIRISS AMI, with sensitivity to significantly colder, lower mass exoplanets than ground-based setups at orbital separations inaccessible to JWST coronagraphy.

Steph Sallum, Shrishmoy Ray, Jens Kammerer, Anand Sivaramakrishnan, Rachel Cooper, Alexandra Z. Greebaum, Deepashri Thatte, Matthew de Furio, Samuel Factor, Michael Meyer, Jordan M. Stone, Aarynn Carter, Beth Biller, Sasha Hinkley, Andrew Skemer, Genaro Suarez, Jarron M. Leisenring, Marshall D. Perrin, Adam L. Kraus, Olivier Absil, William O. Balmer, Mickael Bonnefoy, Marta L. Bryan, Sarah K. Betti, Anthony Boccaletti, Mariangela Bonavita, Mark Booth, Brendan P. Bowler, Zackery W. Briesemeister, Faustine Cantalloube, Gael Chauvin, Valentin Christiaens, Gabriele Cugno, Thayne Currie, Camilla Danielski, Trent J. Dupuy, Jacqueline K. Faherty, Christine H. Chen, Per Calissendorff, Elodie Choquet, Michael P. Fitzgerald, Jonathan J. Fortney, Kyle Franson, Julien H. Girard, Carol A. Grady, Eileen C. Gonzales, Thomas Henning, Dean C. Hines, Kielan K. W. Hoch, Callie E. Hood, Alex R. Howe, Markus Janson, Paul Kalas, Grant M. Kennedy, Matthew A. Kenworthy, Pierre Kervella, Daniel Kitzmann, Masayuki Kuzuhara, Anne-Marie Lagrange, Pierre-Olivier Lagage, Kellen Lawson, Cecilia Lazzoni, Ben W. P. Lew, Michael C. Liu, Pengyu Liu, Jorge Llop-Sayson, James P. Lloyd, Anna Lueber, Bruce Macintosh, Elena Manjavacas, Sebastian Marino, Mark S. Marley, Christian Marois, Raquel A. Martinez, Brenda C. Matthews, Elisabeth C. Matthews, Dimitri Mawet, Johan Mazoyer, Michael W. McElwain, Stanimir Metchev, Brittany E. Miles, Maxwell A. Millar-Blanchaer, Paul Molliere, Sarah E. Moran, Caroline V. Morley, Sagnick Mukherjee, Paulina Palma-Bifani, Eric Pantin, Polychronis Patapis, Simon Petrus, Laurent Pueyo, Sascha P. Quanz, Andreas Quirrenbach, Isabel Rebollido, Jea Adams Redai, Bin B. Ren, Emily Rickman, Matthias Samland, B. A. Sargent, Joshua E. Schlieder et al. (22 additional authors not shown)

Comments: 20 pages, 12 figures, submitted to AAS Journals
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
Cite as: arXiv:2310.11499 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2310.11499v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Steph Sallum
[v1] Tue, 17 Oct 2023 18:00:07 UTC (778 KB)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻