High contrast imaging with the JWST NIRCAM coronagraph

Joseph J. Green, Charles Beichman, Scott A. Basinger, Scott Horner, Michael Meyer, David C. Redding, Marcia Rieke, John T. Trauger

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Relative to ground-based telescopes, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will have a substantial sensitivity advantage in the 2.2-5μm wavelength range where brown dwarfs and hot Jupiters are thought to have significant brightness enhancements. To facilitate high contrast imaging within this band, the Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCAM) will employ a Lyot coronagraph with an array of band-limited image-plane occulting spots. In this paper, we provide the science motivation for high contrast imaging with NIRCAM, comparing its expected performance to that of the Keck, Gemini and 30 m (TMT) telescopes equipped with Adaptive Optics systems of different capabilities. We then describe our design for the NIRCAM coronagraph that enables imaging over the entire sensitivity range of the instrument while providing significant operational flexibility. We describe the various design tradeoffs that were made in consideration of alignment and aberration sensitivities and present contrast performance in the presence of JWST's expected optical aberrations. Finally we show an example of a two-color image subtraction that can provide 10-5 companion sensitivity at sub-arcsecond separations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number59050L
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume5905
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005
EventTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 2 2005Aug 4 2005

Keywords

  • Coronagraph
  • Extrasolar planets
  • High contrast imaging
  • JWST
  • NIRCAM
  • Protoplanetary disks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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