Du 20 novembre 2018 au 22 novembre 2018
Strasbourg, France

The ASTERICS (http://asterics2020.eu/) project is organising its fourth VO School. The school...

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The Characterization of Exoplanet Atmospheres: Major Developments underway

Le 19 janvier 2018
De 10h30 à 12h00

Pierre-Olivier Lagage


The last twenty years have witnessed an exceptionally fast development in the field of the extra solar planets. The known exoplanets, almost 4000 to date, show how diverse the planets in our galaxy can be. While the detection of exoplanets is an important ongoing field of activity, time has come to characterize their atmosphere, especially with the James Webb Space Telescope to be launched in Spring 2019. A lot can be learnt from spectroscopic observations of an exoplanet atmosphere; the molecular composition of giant exoplanet atmospheres can trace the planet's formation and evolution; the atmosphere of rocky exoplanets can host bio-signature gases, ...

In this talk, I will give a rapid overview of the JWST capabilities, share the latest news about its status, and then, describing the exoplanet programs to be conducted in the framework of Guaranteed Time Observations and of Early Release Science observations, I will illustrate its foreseen impact. The data reduction is very challenging; the signal is often embedded in instrumental and telescope systematic noise. The large S/N and wavelength coverage (0.6 - 27 microns) brought by JWST also challenge the precision of the atmospheric models needed to interpret the observations. To take up these challenges, we have combined European expertise in the ExoplANETS-A H2020 project, which I will present.

To finish, I will show that the crucial aspect of getting a statistical significant sample of one thousand exoplanet atmospheres, can only be achieved with a dedicated space mission, such as the ARIEL mission.

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