University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

MN Institute for Astrophysics Colloquium

Friday, February 16th 2018
Speaker: Evan Skillman, MIfA
Subject: The Resolved Stellar Populations JWST Early Release Science Program

Our JWST ERS program will obtain deep multi-band NIRCam and NIRISS imaging of three resolved stellar systems within 1 Mpc. We will use this broad science program to optimize observational setups and to develop data reduction techniques that will be common to JWST studies of resolved stellar populations. We will combine our expertise in HST resolved star studies with these observations to design, test, and release point spread function (PSF) fitting software specific to JWST. PSF photometry is at the heart of resolved stellar populations studies, but is not part of the standard JWST reduction pipeline. Our program will establish JWST-optimized methodologies in six scientific areas: star formation histories, measurement of the sub-Solar mass stellar IMF, extinction maps, evolved stars, proper motions, and globular clusters, all of which will be common pursuits for JWST in the local Universe. Our observations will be of high archival value (e.g., for calibrating stellar evolution models, measuring properties of variable stars, and searching for metal-poor stars) and will provide blueprints for the community to efficiently reduce and analyze JWST observations of resolved stellar populations.

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