Science and Exploration

The JWST Early Release Science Program for Direct Observations of Exoplanetary Systems I: High Contrast Imaging of the Exoplanet HIP 65426 b from 2-16 μm

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
September 1, 2022
Filed under , , , , , , ,
The JWST Early Release Science Program for Direct Observations of Exoplanetary Systems I: High Contrast Imaging of the Exoplanet HIP 65426 b from 2-16 μm
Images of the exoplanetary companion, HIP 65426 b, in all seven NIRCam and MIRI filters used in our observations. Each image is produced following an ADI+RDI KLIP subtraction of the residual stellar PSF. The measured position of the star is marked (white stars), and the orientation and pixel scales of all images are marked in the top left panel.

We present JWST Early Release Science (ERS) coronagraphic observations of the super-Jupiter exoplanet, HIP 65426 b, with the Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) from 2-5 μm, and with the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) from 11-16 μm.

At a separation of ∼0.82″ (87+108−31 au), HIP 65426 b is clearly detected in all seven of our observational filters, representing the first images of an exoplanet to be obtained by JWST, and the first ever direct detection of an exoplanet beyond 5 μm. These observations demonstrate that JWST is exceeding its nominal predicted performance by up to a factor of 10, with measured 5σ contrast limits of ∼4×10−6 (∼2.4 μJy) and ∼2×10−4 (∼10 μJy) at 1″ for NIRCam at 3.6 μm and MIRI at 11.3 μm, respectively.

These contrast limits provide sensitivity to sub-Jupiter companions with masses as low as 0.3 MJup beyond separations of ∼100 au. Together with existing ground-based near-infrared data, the JWST photometry are well fit by a BT-SETTL atmospheric model from 1-16 μm, and span ∼97% of HIP 65426 b’s luminous range. Independent of the choice of forward model atmosphere we measure an empirical bolometric luminosity that is tightly constrained between log(Lbol/L⊙)=-4.35 to -4.21, which in turn provides a robust mass constraint of 7.1±1.1 MJup.

In totality, these observations confirm that JWST presents a powerful and exciting opportunity to characterise the population of exoplanets amenable to direct imaging in greater detail.

Aarynn L. Carter, Sasha Hinkley, Jens Kammerer, Andrew Skemer, Beth A. Biller, Jarron M. Leisenring, Maxwell A. Millar-Blanchaer, Simon Petrus, Jordan M. Stone, Kimberly Ward-Duong, Jason J. Wang, Julien H. Girard, Dean C. Hines, Marshall D. Perrin, Laurent Pueyo, William O. Balmer, Mariangela Bonavita, Mickael Bonnefoy, Gael Chauvin, Elodie Choquet, Valentin Christiaens, Camilla Danielski, Grant M. Kennedy, Elisabeth C. Matthews, Brittany E. Miles, Polychronis Patapis, Shrishmoy Ray, Emily Rickman, Steph Sallum, Karl R. Stapelfeldt, Niall Whiteford, Yifan Zhou, Olivier Absil, Anthony Boccaletti, Mark Booth, Brendan P. Bowler, Christine H. Chen, Thayne Currie, Jonathan J. Fortney, Carol A. Grady, Alexandra Z. Greenbaum, Thomas Henning, Kielan K. W. Hoch, Markus Janson, Paul Kalas, Matthew A. Kenworthy, Pierre Kervella, Adam L. Kraus, Pierre-Olivier Lagage, Michael C. Liu, Bruce Macintosh, Sebastian Marino, Mark S. Marley, Christian Marois, Brenda C. Matthews, Dimitri Mawet, Michael W. McElwain, Stanimir Metchev, Michael R. Meyer, Paul Molliere, Sarah E. Moran, Caroline V. Morley, Sagnick Mukherjee, Eric Pantin, Andreas Quirrenbach, Isabel Rebollido, Bin B. Ren, Glenn Schneider, Malavika Vasist, Kadin Worthen, Mark C. Wyatt, Zackery W. Briesemeister, Marta L. Bryan, Per Calissendorff, Faustine Cantalloube, Gabriele Cugno, Matthew De Furio, Trent J. Dupuy, Samuel M. Factor, Jacqueline K. Faherty, Michael P. Fitzgerald, Kyle Franson, Eileen C. Gonzales, Callie E. Hood, Alex R. Howe, Masayuki Kuzuhara, Anne-Marie Lagrange, Kellen Lawson, Cecilia Lazzoni, Ben W. P. Lew, Pengyu Liu, Jorge Llop-Sayson James P. Lloyd, Raquel A. Martinez, Johan Mazoyer, Sascha P. Quanz, Jea Adams Redai, Matthias Samland, Joshua E. Schlieder, Motohide Tamura, Xianyu Tan et al. (9 additional authors not shown)

Comments: 35 pages, 16 figures, 3 tables, 1 wonderful telescope; Submitted to AAS Journals
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2208.14990 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2208.14990v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Aarynn Carter Dr
[v1] Wed, 31 Aug 2022 17:44:44 UTC (6,677 KB)
Full paper

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.