Hot Gas-Giant Exoplanet WASP-43 b (MIRI Phase Curve)

 Hot Gas-Giant Exoplanet WASP-43 b (MIRI Phase Curve)

This light curve shows the change in brightness of the WASP-43 system over time as the planet orbits the star. This type of light curve is known as a phase curve because it includes the entire orbit, or all phases of the planet.

Because it is tidally locked, different sides of WASP-43 b rotate into view as it orbits. The system appears brightest when the hot dayside is facing the telescope, just before and after the secondary eclipse when the planet passes behind the star. The system grows dimmer as the planet continues its orbits and the nightside rotates into view. After the transit when the planet passes in front of the star, blocking some of the starlight, the system brightens again as the dayside rotates back into view.

This graph shows more than 8,000 measurements of 5- to 12-micron mid-infrared light captured over a single 24-hour observation using the low-resolution spectroscopy mode on Webb’s MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument). By subtracting the amount of light contributed by the star, astronomers can calculate the amount coming from the visible side of the planet as it orbits. Webb was able to detect differences in brightness as small as 0.004% (40 parts per million).

Since the amount of mid-infrared light given off by an object is directly related to its temperature, astronomers were able to use these measurements to calculate the average temperature of different sides of the planet.



NASA, ESA, CSA, Ralf Crawford (STScI)


Taylor Bell (BAERI), Joanna Barstow (The Open University), Michael Roman (University of Leicester)

About The Object
Object Name WASP-43 b
Object Description Hot Jupiter Exoplanet
R.A. Position 10:19:37.96
Dec. Position -09:48:23.20
Constellation Sextans
Distance 280 light-years (87 parsecs)
About The Data
Instrument MIRI
Exposure Dates November 30 – December 2, 2022
About The Object
Object Name A name or catalog number that astronomers use to identify an astronomical object.
Object Description The type of astronomical object.
R.A. Position Right ascension – analogous to longitude – is one component of an object's position.
Dec. Position Declination – analogous to latitude – is one component of an object's position.
Constellation One of 88 recognized regions of the celestial sphere in which the object appears.
Distance The physical distance from Earth to the astronomical object. Distances within our solar system are usually measured in Astronomical Units (AU). Distances between stars are usually measured in light-years. Interstellar distances can also be measured in parsecs.
Dimensions The physical size of the object or the apparent angle it subtends on the sky.
About The Data
Data Description
  • Proposal: A description of the observations, their scientific justification, and the links to the data available in the science archive.
  • Science Team: The astronomers who planned the observations and analyzed the data. "PI" refers to the Principal Investigator.
Instrument The science instrument used to produce the data.
Exposure Dates The date(s) that the telescope made its observations and the total exposure time.
Filters The camera filters that were used in the science observations.
About The Image
Image Credit The primary individuals and institutions responsible for the content.
Publication Date The date and time the release content became public.
Color Info A brief description of the methods used to convert telescope data into the color image being presented.
Orientation The rotation of the image on the sky with respect to the north pole of the celestial sphere.