Indexed on: 03 Jan '10Published on: 03 Jan '10Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
High contrast imaging can find and characterize gas giant planets around nearby young stars and the closest M stars, complementing radial velocity and astrometric searches by exploring orbital separations inaccessible to indirect methods. Ground-based coronagraphs are already probing within 25 AU of nearby young stars to find objects as small as ~ 3 Jupiter masses. This paper compares near-term and future ground-based capabilities with high contrast imaging modes of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Monte Carlo modeling reveals that JWST can detect planets with masses as small as 0.2 MJup across a broad range of orbital separations. We present new calculations for planet brightness as a function of mass and age for specific JWST filters and extending to 0.1 MJup.