Looking forward to WASP planets with JWST

The $6-billion James Webb Space Telescope “will likely revolutionize transiting exoplanet atmospheric science due to a combination of its capability for continuous, long duration observations and its larger collecting area, spectral coverage, and spectral resolution compared to existing space-based facilities”, write Kevin Stevenson et al in a new paper looking forward to Cycle 1 observations of exoplanets with JWST.

Of interest to us is at WASP that, of the “community targets” identified by Stevenson et al as the best targets for characterizing exoplanet atmospheres in Cycle 1, seven of the twelve are WASP planets, and in particular “the most favorable target is WASP-62b because of its large predicted signal size, relatively bright host star, and location in JWST’s continuous viewing zone”.

This independent assessment validates WASP’s program of finding exoplanets transiting relatively bright stars, where they make the best targets for ongoing detailed studies.

JWST is now not that far off, as Stevenson et al remind us with this timeline:

Timeline Of James Webb Space Telescope

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