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Proceedings Article

Atmospheric characterization of cold exoplanets with a 1.5-m space coronagraph

[+] Author Affiliations
Anne-Lise Maire, Anthony Boccaletti, Pierre Baudoz

LESIA, CNRS, Observatoire de Paris (France)

Raphaël Galicher

NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (Canada)

Jean Schneider

LUTH, CNRS, Observatoire de Paris (France)

Kerri Cahoy

NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)

Daphne Stam

SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research (Netherlands)

Wesley Traub

Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Proc. SPIE 8442, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 84424G (August 22, 2012); doi:10.1117/12.925563
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From Conference Volume 8442

  • Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
  • Mark C. Clampin; Giovanni G. Fazio; Howard A. MacEwen; Jacobus M. Oschmann
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands | July 01, 2012

abstract

Several small space coronagraphs have been proposed to characterize cold exoplanets in reflected light. Studies have mainly focused on technical feasibility because of the huge star/planet flux ratio to achieve in the close-in stellar environment (108-1010 at 0.2"). However, the main interest of such instruments, the analysis of planet properties, has remained highly unexplored so far. We performed numerical simulations to assess the ability of a small space coronagraph to retrieve spectra of mature Jupiters, Neptunes and super-Earths under realistic assumptions. We describe our assumptions: exoplanetary atmosphere models, instrument numerical simulation and observing conditions. Then, we define a criterion and use it to determine the required exposure times to measure several planet parameters from their spectra (separation, metallicity, cloud and surface coverages) for particular cases. Finally, we attempt to define a parameter space of the potential targets. In the case of a solar-type star, we show that a small coronagraph can characterize the spectral properties of a 2-AU Jupiter up to 10 pc and the cloud and surface coverage of super-Earths in the habitable zone for a few stars within 4-5 pc. Potentially, SPICES could perform analysis of a hypothetical Earth-size planet around α Cen A and B. © (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Citation

Anne-Lise Maire ; Raphaël Galicher ; Anthony Boccaletti ; Pierre Baudoz ; Jean Schneider, et al.
" Atmospheric characterization of cold exoplanets with a 1.5-m space coronagraph ", Proc. SPIE 8442, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 84424G (August 22, 2012); doi:10.1117/12.925563; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.925563


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