Red supergiants in the JWST era. I. Near-IR photometric diagnostics.
Abstract (from CDS):
The Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be an incredibly powerful instrument for studying red supergiants (RSGs). The high luminosities and red peak wavelengths of these stars make them ideal targets for JWST/NIRCam. With effective photometric diagnostics in place, imaging RSG populations in multiple filters will make it possible to determine these stars' physical properties and, in cases where JWST pre-explosion imaging is available, to identify RSG supernova progenitors. This paper uses observed and model spectra of Galactic RSGs to simulate JWST/NIRCam near-IR photometry and colors, quantify and test potential diagnostics of effective temperature and bolometric magnitude, and present photometric techniques for separating background RSG and foreground dwarf populations. While results are presented for the full suite of near-IR filters, this work shows that (F070W-F200W) is the JWST/NIRCam color index most sensitive to effective temperature, F090W is the best band for determining bolometric magnitude, and the (F070W-F090W) versus (F090W-F200W) color-color diagram can be used to separate foreground dwarf and background RSG samples. The combination of these three filters is recommended as the best suite of photometric observations to use when studying RSGs with JWST.