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

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1117/12.925563
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TypeArticle
Proceedings titleSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Series titleProceedings of SPIE; Volume 8442
ConferenceSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, July 1-6, 2012, Amsterdam, Netherlands
ISSN0277-786X
ISBN9780819491435
Article number84424G
SubjectAtmosphere models; Atmospheric characterization; Exo-planets; High angular resolutions; High contrast imaging; Integral field; Jupiters; Metallicities; Parameter spaces; Potential targets; Solar type stars; Spectral properties; Surface coverages; Technical feasibility; Computer simulation; Imaging techniques; Instruments; Millimeter waves; Space telescopes; Stars; Earth (planet)
AbstractSeveral small space coronagraphs have been proposed to characterize cold exoplanets in reected light. Studies have mainly focused on technical feasibility because of the huge star/planet ux 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.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); National Science Infrastructure
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21270295
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Record identifier548990f5-8f30-4891-a1dd-4abf0843b153
Record created2014-01-21
Record modified2017-09-13
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