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Optimizing the JWST Photometric Pipeline for Exoplanet Science

Presentation #403.02 in the session Exoplanet Transits — iPoster Session.

Published onJun 29, 2022
Optimizing the JWST Photometric Pipeline for Exoplanet Science

Of the four main science themes for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), one of the goals is to study extrasolar planets and determine their chemical and physical properties. Characterizing extrasolar planets with JWST will hinge upon its transit photometry and spectroscopy capabilities. JWST has four scientific instruments, each functional for exoplanet observations. The Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) is JWST’s primary imager equipped with a dichroic that splits light, enabling simultaneous observations in the short (0.6-2.3 μm) and long (2.4-5.0 μm) wavelength channels. NIRCam offers time-series and grism time-series observing modes for high accuracy photometric and spectroscopic monitoring, respectively, with the weak lenses WLP8 and WLP4 available for science observations in the short wavelength channel. In preparation for upcoming JWST observations, we test the STScI JWST Science Calibration Pipeline, specifically for photometry, by looking at different subarray sizes and weak lens combinations. We use the Multi-Instrument Ramp Generator (MIRAGE) to create semi-realistic simulated JWST data to test the STScI pipeline and attempt to recover input planet signals with the least amount of noise. In order to approach the theoretical photon and read noise limits, we have found that 1/f correlations with row-by-row subtraction are crucial. In the end, we aim to provide improvements to existing extraction techniques for photometry that we can verify during JWST’s commissioning period.

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