TRAPPIST-1 JWST Community Initiative
During the last decade, dozens of transiting giant exoplanets have had their atmospheric properties characterized in some detail by various space-based and ground-based telescopes. The upcoming launch of JWST combined with the recent discovery of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system represents a unique opportunity to extend such atmospheric studies into the realm of temperate Earth-sized worlds. Indeed, the proximity of the system (12pc) combined with the Jupiter-like size and small luminosity (0.05% of the Sun's) of the star make the comparative study of the planets’ atmospheres within reach of an ambitious (100hr to 1000hr) JWST program.
Given the limited lifetime of JWST and the numerous challenges that this study will face both from an observational and a theoretical point of view, the TRAPPIST-1 JWST Community Initiative aims to ensure its coordination and optimization. It will be managed by a board of scientists with complementary expertise who will help provide coordination mechanisms for all members of the community ready to join and support the initiative.
While keeping the freedom to publish scientific results independently, the involved scientists will act as a community to develop a well-defined sequential structure for the study of the system with JWST and to coordinate on every aspect of its preparation and implementation, both on the observational (e.g. study of the instrumental limitations, data analysis techniques, complementary space-based and ground-based observations) and theoretical levels (e.g. model developments and comparison, retrieval techniques, inferences).
All JWST data taken within this community-driven approach will have a minimal proprietary period, so to maximize their scientific return. Depending on the outcome of the first phase of observations, this initiative could become the seed of a major JWST legacy program partially or totally devoted to the study of TRAPPIST-1.