JWST PEARLS. Prime Extragalactic Areas for Reionization and Lensing Science: Project Overview and First Results

Rogier A. Windhorst, Seth H. Cohen, Rolf A. Jansen, Jake Summers, Scott Tompkins, Christopher J. Conselice, Simon P. Driver, Haojing Yan, Dan Coe, Brenda Frye, Norman Grogin, Anton Koekemoer, Madeline A. Marshall, Rosalia O’Brien, Nor Pirzkal, Aaron Robotham, Russell E. Ryan, Christopher N.A. Willmer, Timothy Carleton, Jose M. DiegoWilliam C. Keel, Paolo Porto, Caleb Redshaw, Sydney Scheller, Stephen M. Wilkins, S. P. Willner, Adi Zitrin, Nathan J. Adams, Duncan Austin, Richard G. Arendt, John F. Beacom, Rachana A. Bhatawdekar, Larry D. Bradley, Tom Broadhurst, Cheng Cheng, Francesca Civano, Liang Dai, Hervé Dole, Jordan C.J. D’Silva, Kenneth J. Duncan, Giovanni G. Fazio, Giovanni Ferrami, Leonardo Ferreira, Steven L. Finkelstein, Lukas J. Furtak, Hansung B. Gim, Alex Griffiths, Heidi B. Hammel, Kevin C. Harrington, Nimish P. Hathi, Benne W. Holwerda, Rachel Honor, Jia Sheng Huang, Minhee Hyun, Myungshin Im, Bhavin A. Joshi, Patrick S. Kamieneski, Patrick Kelly, Rebecca L. Larson, Juno Li, Jeremy Lim, Zhiyuan Ma, Peter Maksym, Giorgio Manzoni, Ashish Kumar Meena, Stefanie N. Milam, Mario Nonino, Massimo Pascale, Andreea Petric, Justin D.R. Pierel, Maria del Carmen Polletta, Huub J.A. Röttgering, michael j rutkowski, Ian Smail, Amber N. Straughn, Louis Gregory Strolger, Andi Swirbul, James A.A. Trussler, Lifan Wang, Brian Welch, J. Stuart B. Wyithe, Min Yun, Erik Zackrisson, Jiashuo Zhang, Xiurui Zhao

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Abstract

We give an overview and describe the rationale, methods, and first results from NIRCam images of the JWST “Prime Extragalactic Areas for Reionization and Lensing Science” (PEARLS) project. PEARLS uses up to eight NIRCam filters to survey several prime extragalactic survey areas: two fields at the North Ecliptic Pole (NEP); seven gravitationally lensing clusters; two high redshift protoclusters; and the iconic backlit VV 191 galaxy system to map its dust attenuation. PEARLS also includes NIRISS spectra for one of the NEP fields and NIRSpec spectra of two high-redshift quasars. The main goal of PEARLS is to study the epoch of galaxy assembly, active galactic nucleus (AGN) growth, and First Light. Five fields—the JWST NEP Time-Domain Field (TDF), IRAC Dark Field, and three lensing clusters—will be observed in up to four epochs over a year. The cadence and sensitivity of the imaging data are ideally suited to find faint variable objects such as weak AGN, high-redshift supernovae, and cluster caustic transits. Both NEP fields have sightlines through our Galaxy, providing significant numbers of very faint brown dwarfs whose proper motions can be studied. Observations from the first spoke in the NEP TDF are public. This paper presents our first PEARLS observations, their NIRCam data reduction and analysis, our first object catalogs, the 0.9-4.5 μm galaxy counts and Integrated Galaxy Light. We assess the JWST sky brightness in 13 NIRCam filters, yielding our first constraints to diffuse light at 0.9-4.5 μm. PEARLS is designed to be of lasting benefit to the community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume165
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We dedicate this paper to Karin Valentine, who during her life as Media Relations Manager at the ASU School of Earth & Space Exploration was a true champion of outreach for NASA missions and was so eager to see the first JWST images. We thank the JWST Project at NASA GSFC and JWST Program at NASA HQ for their many-decades long dedication to make the JWST mission a success. We especially thank Tony Roman, the JWST scheduling group and Mission Operations Center staff at STScI for their continued dedicated support to get the JWST observations scheduled. We thank Scott Kenyon and John Mackenty for helpful discussions. We thank the referee and also Dr. Jane Rigby for very thoughtful suggestions that helped us improve the submitted manuscript. This work is based on observations made with the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope. The data were obtained from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-03127 for JWST. These observations are associated with JWST programs 1176 and 2738. R.A.W., S.H.C., and R.A.J. acknowledge support from NASA JWST Interdisciplinary Scientist grants NAG5-12460, NNX14AN10G and 80NSSC18K0200 from GSFC. Work by R.G.A. was supported by NASA under award number 80GSFC21M0002. J.F.B. was supported by grant PHY-2012955 issued by the National Science Foundation. R.A.B. gratefully acknowledges support from the European Space Agency (ESA) Research Fellowship. C.C. is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 11803044, 11933003, 12173045, (in part) by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) through a grant to the CAS South America Center for Astronomy (CASSACA), and science research grants from the China Manned Space Project with NO. CMS-CSST-2021-A05. C.J.C. acknowledges support from the European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Investigator Grant EPOCHS (788113). L.D. acknowledges the research grant support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (award number FG-2021-16495). K.J.D. acknowledges funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 892117 (HIZRAD). L.F. acknowledges funding from the Coordenaçao de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior in Brazil (CAPES). L.F. acknowledges support by grant No. 2020750 from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) and grant No. 2109066 from the United States National Science Foundation (NSF). B.L.F. thanks the Berkeley Center for Theoretical Physics for their hospitality during the writing of this paper. M.H. acknowledges the support from the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT; Nr. 2022183005) M.I. acknowledges support from the National Research Foundation of Korea through grants 2020R1A2C3011091 and 2021M3f7A1084525. P.K. is supported by NSF grant AST-1908823. R.L.L. is supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under grant No. DGE-1610403. W.P.M. acknowledges that support for this work was provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration through Chandra Award Numbers GO8-19119X, GO9-20123X, GO0-21126X and GO1-22134X issued by the Chandra X-ray Center, which is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for and on behalf of the National Aeronautics Space Administration under contract NAS8-03060. G.M. is supported by the Collaborative Research Fund under grant No. C6017-20G which issued by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong S.A.R. M.A.M. acknowledges the support of a National Research Council of Canada Plaskett Fellowship, and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D), through project number CE17010001. A.K.M. acknowledges support by the Ministry of Science & Technology, Israel. I.R.S. acknowledges support from STFC (ST/T000244/1). L.W. was supported by grant AST 1817099 issued by the NSF and grant 80NSSC20K0538 issued by NASA. C.N.A.W. acknowledges funding from the JWST/NIRCam contract NASS-0215 to the University of Arizona. J.S.B.W. was supported by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D), through project #CE170100013. E.Z. acknowledges funding from the Swedish National Space Agency. A.Z. acknowledges support by the Ministry of Science & Technology, Israel, and by grant No. 2020750 from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) and grant No. 2109066 from the United States National Science Foundation (NSF). We also acknowledge the indigenous peoples of Arizona, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of the land has enabled us to be at ASU’s Tempe campus in the Salt River Valley, where much of our work was conducted.

Funding Information:
We dedicate this paper to Karin Valentine, who during her life as Media Relations Manager at the ASU School of Earth & Space Exploration was a true champion of outreach for NASA missions and was so eager to see the first JWST images. We thank the JWST Project at NASA GSFC and JWST Program at NASA HQ for their many-decades long dedication to make the JWST mission a success. We especially thank Tony Roman, the JWST scheduling group and Mission Operations Center staff at STScI for their continued dedicated support to get the JWST observations scheduled. We thank Scott Kenyon and John Mackenty for helpful discussions. We thank the referee and also Dr. Jane Rigby for very thoughtful suggestions that helped us improve the submitted manuscript. This work is based on observations made with the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope. The data were obtained from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-03127 for JWST. These observations are associated with JWST programs 1176 and 2738. R.A.W., S.H.C., and R.A.J. acknowledge support from NASA JWST Interdisciplinary Scientist grants NAG5-12460, NNX14AN10G and 80NSSC18K0200 from GSFC. Work by R.G.A. was supported by NASA under award number 80GSFC21M0002. J.F.B. was supported by grant PHY-2012955 issued by the National Science Foundation. R.A.B. gratefully acknowledges support from the European Space Agency (ESA) Research Fellowship. C.C. is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 11803044, 11933003, 12173045, (in part) by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) through a grant to the CAS South America Center for Astronomy (CASSACA), and science research grants from the China Manned Space Project with NO. CMS-CSST-2021-A05. C.J.C. acknowledges support from the European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Investigator Grant EPOCHS (788113). L.D. acknowledges the research grant support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (award number FG-2021-16495). K.J.D. acknowledges funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 892117 (HIZRAD). L.F. acknowledges funding from the Coordenaçao de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior in Brazil (CAPES). L.F. acknowledges support by grant No. 2020750 from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) and grant No. 2109066 from the United States National Science Foundation (NSF). B.L.F. thanks the Berkeley Center for Theoretical Physics for their hospitality during the writing of this paper. M.H. acknowledges the support from the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT; Nr. 2022183005) M.I. acknowledges support from the National Research Foundation of Korea through grants 2020R1A2C3011091 and 2021M3f7A1084525. P.K. is supported by NSF grant AST-1908823. R.L.L. is supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under grant No. DGE-1610403. W.P.M. acknowledges that support for this work was provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration through Chandra Award Numbers GO8-19119X, GO9-20123X, GO0-21126X and GO1-22134X issued by the Chandra X-ray Center, which is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for and on behalf of the National Aeronautics Space Administration under contract NAS8-03060. G.M. is supported by the Collaborative Research Fund under grant No. C6017-20G which issued by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong S.A.R. M.A.M. acknowledges the support of a National Research Council of Canada Plaskett Fellowship, and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D), through project number CE17010001. A.K.M. acknowledges support by the Ministry of Science & Technology, Israel. I.R.S. acknowledges support from STFC (ST/T000244/1). L.W. was supported by grant AST 1817099 issued by the NSF and grant 80NSSC20K0538 issued by NASA. C.N.A.W. acknowledges funding from the JWST/NIRCam contract NASS-0215 to the University of Arizona. J.S.B.W. was supported by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D), through project #CE170100013. E.Z. acknowledges funding from the Swedish National Space Agency. A.Z. acknowledges support by the Ministry of Science & Technology, Israel, and by grant No. 2020750 from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) and grant No. 2109066 from the United States National Science Foundation (NSF). We also acknowledge the indigenous peoples of Arizona, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of the land has enabled us to be at ASU’s Tempe campus in the Salt River Valley, where much of our work was conducted.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society.

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