NIRSpec Observing Strategies

Guidance is provided for astronomers preparing JWST NIRSpec observations. These recommendations are based on our best current knowledge of NIRSpec performance and operations, including results from the JWST commissioning period.

See also:  Methods and Roadmaps

The Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) provides excellent quality observations from about 0.6 to 5.3 μm. NIRSpec offers 4 main observing modes (1) fixed slit spectroscopy, (2) integral field unit spectroscopy, (3) bright object time series spectroscopy with stable, high photometric precision, and (4) multi-object spectroscopy. These capabilities are used for a variety of observing programs that probe all main JWST science themes: first light and reionization, assembly of galaxies, birth of stars and protoplanetary systems, and planets and origin of life.

To prepare these programs, observers make a series of choices concerning detector usage, dither options, and background observations, among others. The following articles contain recommendations that are meant to help observers optimize their programs and obtain the best science output. These recommendations are based on our best current knowledge of the instrument performance and operations and may evolve in the future.

This article provides a collection of guidance and recommendations for astronomers preparing to use any of the NIRSpec observing modes using the Astronomers' Proposal Tool (APT).  Here are the NIRSpec observing strategy recommendations: 

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