JWST Sensitivity and Saturation Limits

Estimated Values

The values presented here are based on the JWST ETC version 3.0. You can hover over the curves and points to reveal more detailed information.

For more detailed sensitivity estimates, access the JWST Exposure Time Calculator (ETC) . Documentation is available on JDox. For help, please submit a ticket to the JWST Help Desk.


All sensitivities are provided as a signal-to-noise ratio of 10 sigma in 10,000 seconds, for a low background that is 1.2 times the minimum zodiacal brightness. Spectroscopic sensitivities are reported per wavelength pixel, not per resolution element.

Saturation plotly

Saturation Limits

All saturation limits are for full-frame readout, except for NIRISS SOSS and AMI, which use the SUBSTRIP256 and SUB80 subarrays, respectively. Note that it is sometimes possible to increase the saturation limits by using subarrays. MIRI limits are for 5-group ramps (the minimum recommended). All other limits are for 2-group ramps.


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For technical assistance, please contact the JWST Help Desk.


The NASA James Webb Space Telescope, developed in partnership with ESA and CSA, is operated by AURA’s Space Telescope Science Institute.