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 Güdel, Th Henning, K. Justtanont, P. O. Lagage, M. E. Meixner, H. U. Nørgaard-Nielsen, T. P. Ray, M. E. Ressler, E. F. Van Dishoeck, C. Waelkens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

256 Scopus citations


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 (US)
Pages (from-to)584-594
Number of pages11
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number953
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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