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James Webb Space Telescope
JWST Science Corner

Recent JWST Science Highlights - Exoplanets


Water Clouds in Y Dwarfs and Exoplanets

Why JWST is important:- In this paper, we modeled the spectra of Y dwarfs including water ice cloud opacity. We made predictions for the observability of Y dwarfs with JWST in the near- and mid-infrared. Figures 18 and 19 in the paper show the spectra of brown dwarfs from 200 to 450 K with predicted sensitivity limits for NIRSpec and MIRI.
(click here for the abstract)

Reference: Caroline Morley, University of California Santa Cruz, Co-authors:- Mark Marley, Jonathan Fortney, Roxana Lupu, Didier Saumon, Tom Greene, Katharina Lodders, 2014, ApJ, 787, 78M

Morley fig19
Figure 19. 2014 ApJ 787 78M

Detectability of Free Floating Planets in Open Clusters with JWST

Why JWST is important:- The high contrast with the star for bounded planets poses very strict, and usually unmanageable, limits on their direct observation. On the contrary, the large population of free-floating planets predicted in this work might be detected with the next generation of space telescopes, given that their surface temperature is sufficiently high. Our study on observability shows that even with a relatively low-temperature planet at 300 K, a detection may be feasible in the infrared band, using the NIRcam instrument onboard the future JWST observatory. A clear detection becomes much more feasible if a fraction of free-floating planets reaches temperatures of at least 500 K.
(click here for the abstract)

Reference: Fabio Pacucci, Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa, Italy), Co-authors:- Andrea Ferrara, Elena D'Onghia, 2013, ApJ, 778L, 42

Pacucci fig3
Figure 3. 2013 ApJ 778 L42