Simulating Observations Of Low-Mass Sources In NGC 2024 With JWST NIRCam
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractJames Webb Space Telescope’s (JWST) primary science imager, NIRCam, will provide near-infrared images and data with sensitivity limits never before reached, making it ideal for observing low-mass sources. In preparation for an upcoming NIRCam study of embedded cluster NGC 2024, this project constructs a possible field of view based on known sources and potential low-mass sources predicted by an initial mass function (IMF) which would have previously been unobservable, and simulates planned NIRCam observation to investigate how accurately NIRCam can observe the faint simulated objects with saturation from bright existing sources and background emission. We produced two sets of simulated sources due to uncertainties in constraining the IMF, and despite the limited time constraints, were able to evaluate the astrometric and photometric accuracy of one set of images for one set of simulated sources. We found that the extracted astrometry was accurate to within 6.3 milliarcseconds for the majority of sources and measured photometry was generally within a standard deviation of 0.06 mags, demonstrating the accuracy of the simulated observations. We also identified several areas which would benefit from a robust data analysis pipeline, such as source detection, PSF fitting, and repetition of the source simulation.