2020 Update on JWST: Time Domain, Cluster Lensing and Caustic Transit Searches for First Light Objects

In this talk, I will give the 2020 summary of the 6.5 meter James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the near--mid-IR sequel to both Hubble and Spitzer. All hardware has been built, and is in the final stages of testing for its launch scheduled in October 2021. Next, I will review some of the early science that JWST plans do starting in 2022, inspired by Hubble Wide Field Camera 3.


JWST can do unique time domain science to 29 mag in the North Ecliptic Pole (NEP) Time-Domain Field (TDF) located in JWST's (and HST's) northern Continuous Viewing Zone: a unique clean region devoid of bright foreground stars with low Galactic extinction. JWST can observe most targets for 2x2 months per year, including the well known HST and Spitzer deep fields, but can observe the NEP TDF at all times, so that NIRISS parallel grism spectra will always cover NIRCam 0.8-5 micron images 180 days later. Since 2016, the JWST TDF has been observed from space and the ground, from hard X-rays to long wavelength radio. The NEP TDF will search for and monitor high redshift transients: SNe at z>5, weak Active Galactic Nuclei, Galactic brown dwarf atmospheres, and provide proper motions of nearby brown dwarfs, low-mass stars, and ultracool white dwarfs to 29 mag, and perhaps some Inner Oort Cloud Objects.



Rogier Windhorst


Arizona State University