The JWST Early Release Science Program for Direct Observations of Exoplanetary Systems. IV. NIRISS Aperture Masking Interferometry Performance and Lessons Learned

Sallum, Steph; Ray, Shrishmoy; Kammerer, Jens; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Cooper, Rachel; Greebaum, Alexandra Z.; Thatte, Deepashri; De Furio, Matthew; Factor, Samuel M.; Meyer, Michael R.; Stone, Jordan M.; Carter, Aarynn; Biller, Beth; Hinkley, Sasha; Skemer, Andrew; Suárez, Genaro; Leisenring, Jarron M.; Perrin, Marshall D.; Kraus, Adam L.; Absil, Olivier; Balmer, William O.; Betti, Sarah K.; Boccaletti, Anthony; Bonavita, Mariangela; Bonnefoy, Mickael; Booth, Mark; Bowler, Brendan P.; Briesemeister, Zackery W.; Bryan, Marta L.; Calissendorff, Per; Cantalloube, Faustine; Chauvin, Gael; Chen, Christine H.; Choquet, Elodie; Christiaens, Valentin; Cugno, Gabriele; Currie, Thayne; Danielski, Camilla; Dupuy, Trent J.; Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Franson, Kyle; Girard, Julien H.; Grady, Carol A.; Gonzales, Eileen C.; Henning, Thomas; Hines, Dean C.; Hoch, Kielan K. W.; Hood, Callie E.; Howe, Alex R.; Janson, Markus; Kalas, Paul; Kennedy, Grant M.; Kenworthy, Matthew A.; Kervella, Pierre; Kitzmann, Daniel; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Lagrange, Anne-Marie; Lagage, Pierre-Olivier; Lawson, Kellen; Lazzoni, Cecilia; Lew, Ben W. P.; Liu, Michael C.; Liu, Pengyu; Llop-Sayson, Jorge; Lloyd, James P.; Lueber, Anna; Macintosh, Bruce; Manjavacas, Elena; Marino, Sebastian; Marley, Mark S.; Marois, Christian; Martinez, Raquel A.; Matthews, Brenda C.; Matthews, Elisabeth C.; Mawet, Dimitri; Mazoyer, Johan; McElwain, Michael W.; Metchev, Stanimir; Miles, Brittany E.; Millar-Blanchaer, Maxwell A.; Molliere, Paul; Moran, Sarah E.; Morley, Caroline V.; Mukherjee, Sagnick; Palma-Bifani, Paulina; Pantin, Eric; Patapis, Polychronis; Petrus, Simon; Pueyo, Laurent; Quanz, Sascha P.; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Rebollido, Isabel; Redai, Jea Adams; Ren, Bin B.; Rickman, Emily; Samland, Matthias; Sargent, B. A.; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Schneider, Glenn; Stapelfeldt, Karl R.; Sutlieff, Ben J.; Tamura, Motohide; Tan, Xianyu; Theissen, Christopher A.; Uyama, Taichi; Vigan, Arthur; Vasist, Malavika; Vos, Johanna M.; Wagner, Kevin; Wang, Jason J.; Ward-Duong, Kimberly; Whiteford, Niall; Wolff, Schuyler G.; Worthen, Kadin; Wyatt, Mark C.; Ygouf, Marie; Zhang, Xi; Zhang, Keming; Zhang, Zhoujian; Zhou, Yifan and Zurlo, Alice (2024). The JWST Early Release Science Program for Direct Observations of Exoplanetary Systems. IV. NIRISS Aperture Masking Interferometry Performance and Lessons Learned. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 963(1), article no. L2.



We present a performance analysis for the aperture masking interferometry (AMI) mode on board the James Webb Space Telescope Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (JWST/NIRISS). Thanks to self-calibrating observables, AMI accesses inner working angles down to and even within the classical diffraction limit. The scientific potential of this mode has recently been demonstrated by the Early Release Science (ERS) 1386 program with a deep search for close-in companions in the HIP 65426 exoplanetary system. As part of ERS 1386, we use the same data set to explore the random, static, and calibration errors of NIRISS AMI observables. We compare the observed noise properties and achievable contrast to theoretical predictions. We explore possible sources of calibration errors and show that differences in charge migration between the observations of HIP 65426 and point-spread function calibration stars can account for the achieved contrast curves. Lastly, we use self-calibration tests to demonstrate that with adequate calibration NIRISS F380M AMI can reach contrast levels of ∼9–10 mag at ≳λ/D. These tests lead us to observation planning recommendations and strongly motivate future studies aimed at producing sophisticated calibration strategies taking these systematic effects into account. This will unlock the unprecedented capabilities of JWST/NIRISS AMI, with sensitivity to significantly colder, lower-mass exoplanets than lower-contrast ground-based AMI setups, at orbital separations inaccessible to JWST coronagraphy.

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