The Mid-Infrared Instrument for the James Webb Space Telescope, I: Introduction

G. H. Rieke, G. S. Wright, T. Böker, J. Bouwman, L. Colina, Alistair Glasse, K. D. Gordon, T. P. Greene, Manuel Guedel, Th Henning, K. Justtanont, P-O Lagage, M. E. Meixner, Hans Ulrik Nørgaard-Nielsen, T. P. Ray, M. E. Ressler, E. F. van Dishoeck, C. Waelkens

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MIRI (the Mid-Infrared Instrument for the James Webb Space Telescope [JWST]) operates from 5 to 28: 5 μm and combines over this range: (1) unprecedented sensitivity levels; (2) subarcsecond angular resolution; (3) freedom from atmospheric interference; (4) the inherent stability of observing in space; and (5) a suite of versatile capabilities including imaging, low- and medium-resolution spectroscopy (with an integral field unit), and coronagraphy. We illustrate the potential uses of this unique combination of capabilities with various science examples: (1) imaging exoplanets; (2) transit and eclipse spectroscopy of exoplanets; (3) probing the first stages of star and planet formation, including identifying bioactive molecules; (4) determining star formation rates and mass growth as galaxies are assembled; and (5) characterizing the youngest massive galaxies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number953
Pages (from-to)584-594
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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Rieke, G. H., Wright, G. S., Böker, T., Bouwman, J., Colina, L., Glasse, A., Gordon, K. D., Greene, T. P., Guedel, M., Henning, T., Justtanont, K., Lagage, P-O., Meixner, M. E., Nørgaard-Nielsen, H. U., Ray, T. P., Ressler, M. E., van Dishoeck, E. F., & Waelkens, C. (2015). The Mid-Infrared Instrument for the James Webb Space Telescope, I: Introduction. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 127(953), 584-594.