Early Release Science of the exoplanet WASP-39b with JWST NIRSpec G395H

Lili Alderson*, Hannah R. Wakeford*, Munazza K. Alam, Natasha E. Batalha, Joshua D. Lothringer, Jea Adams Redai, Saugata Barat, Jonathan Brande, Mario Damiano, Tansu Daylan, Néstor Espinoza, Laura Flagg, Jayesh M. Goyal, David Grant, Renyu Hu, Julie Inglis, Elspeth K. H. Lee, Thomas Mikal-Evans, Lakeisha Ramos-Rosado, Pierre-Alexis RoyNicole L. Wallack, Natalie M. Batalha, Jacob L. Bean, Björn Benneke, Zachory K. Berta-Thompson, Aarynn L. Carter, Quentin Changeat, Knicole D. Colón, Ian J. M. Crossfield, Jean-Michel Désert, Daniel Foreman-Mackey, Neale P. Gibson, Laura Kreidberg, Michael R. Line, Mercedes López-Morales, Karan Molaverdikhani, Sarah E. Moran, Giuseppe Morello, Julianne I. Moses, Sagnick Mukherjee, Everett Schlawin, David K. Sing, Kevin B. Stevenson, Jake Taylor, Keshav Aggarwal, Eva-Maria Ahrer, Natalie H. Allen, Joanna K. Barstow, Taylor J. Bell, Jasmina Blecic, Sarah L. Casewell, Katy L. Chubb, Nicolas Crouzet, Patricio E. Cubillos, Leen Decin, Adina D. Feinstein, Joanthan J. Fortney, Joseph Harrington, Kevin Heng, Nicolas Iro, Eliza M. -R. Kempton, James Kirk, Heather A. Knutson, Jessica Krick, Jérémy Leconte, Monika Lendl, Ryan J. MacDonald, Luigi Mancini, Megan Mansfield, Erin M. May, Nathan J. Mayne, Yamila Miguel, Nikolay K. Nikolov, Kazumasa Ohno, Enric Palle, Vivien Parmentier, Dominique J. M. Petit dit de la Roche, Caroline Piaulet, Diana Powell, Benjamin V. Rackham, Seth Redfield, Laura K. Rogers, Zafar Rustamkulov, Xianyu Tan, P. Tremblin, Shang-Min Tsai, Jake D. Turner, Miguel de Val-Borro, Olivia Venot, Luis Welbanks, Peter J. Wheatley, Xi Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Measuring the abundances of carbon and oxygen in exoplanet atmospheres is considered a crucial avenue for unlocking the formation and evolution of exoplanetary systems1,2. Access to an exoplanet’s chemical inventory requires high precision observations, often inferred from individual molecular detections with low-resolution space-based3-5 and high-resolution ground-based6-8 facilities. Here we report the medium-resolution (R≈600) transmission spectrum of an exoplanet atmosphere between 3–5 μm covering multiple absorption features for the Saturn-mass exoplanet WASP-39b9, obtained with JWST NIRSpec G395H. Our observations achieve 1.46× photon precision, providing an average transit depth uncertainty of 221 ppm per spectroscopic bin, and present minimal impacts from systematic effects. We detect significant absorption from CO2 (28.5σ ) and H2O (21.5σ ), and identify SO2 as the source of absorption at 4.1 μ m (4.8σ ). Best-fit atmospheric models range between 3× and 10× solar metallicity, with sub-solar to solar C/O ratios. These results, including the detection of SO2, underscore the importance of characterising the chemistry in exoplanet atmospheres, and showcase NIRSpec G395H as an excellent mode for time series observations over this critical wavelength range10.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-669
Issue number7949
Early online date9 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Early Release Science of the exoplanet WASP-39b with JWST NIRSpec G395H'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this