λ = 2.4 to 5 μm spectroscopy with the James Webb Space Telescope NIRCam instrument

July 2017 • 2017JATIS...3c5001G

Authors • Greene, Thomas P. • Kelly, Douglas M. • Stansberry, John • Leisenring, Jarron • Egami, Eiichi • Schlawin, Everett • Chu, Laurie • Hodapp, Klaus W. • Rieke, Marcia

Abstract • The James Webb Space Telescope near-infrared camera (JWST NIRCam) has two 2.2×2.2 fields of view that can be observed with either imaging or spectroscopic modes. Either of two R∼1500 grisms with orthogonal dispersion directions can be used for slitless spectroscopy over λ=2.4 to 5.0 μm in each module, and shorter wavelength observations of the same fields can be obtained simultaneously. We describe the design drivers and parameters of the grisms and present the latest predicted spectroscopic sensitivities, saturation limits, resolving powers, and wavelength coverage values. Simultaneous short wavelength (0.6 to 2.3 μm) imaging observations of the 2.4 to 5.0 μm spectroscopic field can be performed in one of several different filter bands, either infocus or defocused via weak lenses internal to the NIRCam. The grisms are available for single-object time-series spectroscopy and wide-field multiobject slitless spectroscopy modes in the first cycle of JWST observations. We present and discuss operational considerations including subarray sizes and data volume limits. Potential scientific uses of the grisms are illustrated with simulated observations of deep extragalactic fields, dark clouds, and transiting exoplanets. Information needed to plan observations using these spectroscopic modes is also provided.


IPAC Authors

Laurie Chu

Postdoctoral Research Associate