Status Report

Exoplanet Science with the European Extremely Large Telescope

By SpaceRef Editor
December 3, 2014
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Exoplanet Science with the European Extremely Large Telescope

S. Udry, C. Lovis, F. Bouchy, A. Collier Cameron, T. Henning, M. Mayor, F. Pepe, N. Piskunov, D. Pollacco, D. Queloz, A. Quirrenbach, H. Rauer, R. Rebolo, N.C. Santos, I. Snellen, F. Zerbi

(Submitted on 30 Nov 2014)

Exoplanet science is booming. In 20 years our knowledge has expanded considerably, from the first discovery of a Hot Jupiter, to the detection of a large population of Neptunes and super-Earths, to the first steps toward the characterization of exoplanet atmospheres. Between today and 2025, the field will evolve at an even faster pace with the advent of several space-based transit search missions, ground-based spectrographs, high-contrast imaging facilities, and the James Webb Space Telescope. Especially the ESA M-class PLATO mission will be a game changer in the field. From 2024 onwards, PLATO will find transiting terrestrial planets orbiting within the habitable zones of nearby, bright stars. These objects will require the power of Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) to be characterized further.

The technique of ground-based high-resolution spectroscopy is establishing itself as a crucial pathway to measure chemical composition, atmospheric structure and atmospheric circulation in transiting exoplanets. A high-resolution spectrograph covering the visible and near-IR domains, mounted on the European ELT, will be able to detect molecules such as water vapour, carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmospheres of habitable planets under favourable circumstances. E-ELT HiRES is the perfect ground-based match to the PLATO space mission and represents a unique opportunity for Europe to lead the world into the era of exploration of exoplanets with habitable conditions. HiRES will also be extremely complementary to other E-ELT planned instruments specialising in different kinds of planets, such as METIS and EPICS.

Comments:White paper

Subjects:Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Cite as:arXiv:1412.1048 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1412.1048v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Christophe Lovis 

[v1] Sun, 30 Nov 2014 23:20:49 GMT (113kb)

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