Author(s): , ,
Institution(s): 1. Space Telescope Science Institute
The James Webb Space Telescope’s (JWST) Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) will provide a multi-object spectroscopy mode through the four Micro-Shutter Arrays (MSAs). Each MSA is a grid of contiguous shutters that can be configured to form slits on more than 100 astronomical targets simultaneously. The combination of JWST’s sensitivity and superb resolution in the infrared and NIRSpec’s full wavelength coverage from 0.6 to 5 μm will open new parameter space for studies of galaxies and resolved stellar populations alike. We describe a NIRSpec MSA observing scenario for obtaining spectroscopy of individual stars in an external galaxy, and investigate the technical challenges posed by this scenario. We examine the multiplexing capability of the MSA as a function of the possible MSA configuration design choices, and investigate the primary sources of error in velocity measurements and the prospects for minimizing them. We give examples of how this and other use cases are guiding development of the NIRSpec user interfaces, including proposal planning and pipeline calibrations.