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See detailSPHERE+: Imaging young Jupiters down to the snowline
Boccaletti, A.; Chauvin, G.; Mouillet, D. et al

E-print/Working paper (2020)

SPHERE (Beuzit et al,. 2019) has now been in operation at the VLT for more than 5 years, demonstrating a high level of performance. SPHERE has produced outstanding results using a variety of operating ... [more ▼]

SPHERE (Beuzit et al,. 2019) has now been in operation at the VLT for more than 5 years, demonstrating a high level of performance. SPHERE has produced outstanding results using a variety of operating modes, primarily in the field of direct imaging of exoplanetary systems, focusing on exoplanets as point sources and circumstellar disks as extended objects. The achievements obtained thus far with SPHERE (~200 refereed publications) in different areas (exoplanets, disks, solar system, stellar physics...) have motivated a large consortium to propose an even more ambitious set of science cases, and its corresponding technical implementation in the form of an upgrade. The SPHERE+ project capitalizes on the expertise and lessons learned from SPHERE to push high contrast imaging performance to its limits on the VLT 8m-telescope. The scientific program of SPHERE+ described in this document will open a new and compelling scientific window for the upcoming decade in strong synergy with ground-based facilities (VLT/I, ELT, ALMA, and SKA) and space missions (Gaia, JWST, PLATO and WFIRST). While SPHERE has sampled the outer parts of planetary systems beyond a few tens of AU, SPHERE+ will dig into the inner regions around stars to reveal and characterize by mean of spectroscopy the giant planet population down to the snow line. Building on SPHERE's scientific heritage and resounding success, SPHERE+ will be a dedicated survey instrument which will strengthen the leadership of ESO and the European community in the very competitive field of direct imaging of exoplanetary systems. With enhanced capabilities, it will enable an even broader diversity of science cases including the study of the solar system, the birth and death of stars and the exploration of the inner regions of active galactic nuclei. [less ▲]

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See detailInvestigating the young solar system analog HD 95086. A combined HARPS and SPHERE exploration
Chauvin, G.; Gratton, R.; Bonnefoy, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 617

Context. HD 95086 (A8V, 17 Myr) hosts a rare planetary system for which a multi-belt debris disk and a giant planet of 4-5 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] have been directly imaged. <BR /> Aims: Our study aims to ... [more ▼]

Context. HD 95086 (A8V, 17 Myr) hosts a rare planetary system for which a multi-belt debris disk and a giant planet of 4-5 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] have been directly imaged. <BR /> Aims: Our study aims to characterize the global architecture of this young system using the combination of radial velocity and direct imaging observations. We want to characterize the physical and orbital properties of HD 95086 b, search for additional planets at short and wide orbits and image the cold outer debris belt in scattered light. <BR /> Methods: We used HARPS at the ESO 3.6 m telescope to monitor the radial velocity of HD 95086 over two years and investigate the existence of giant planets at less than 3 au orbital distance. With the IRDIS dual-band imager and the IFS integral field spectrograph of SPHERE at VLT, we imaged the faint circumstellar environment beyond 10 au at six epochs between 2015 and 2017. <BR /> Results: We do not detect additional giant planets around HD 95086. We identify the nature (bound companion or background contaminant) of all point-like sources detected in the IRDIS field of view. None of them correspond to the ones recently discovered near the edge of the cold outer belt by ALMA. HD 95086 b is resolved for the first time in J-band with IFS. Its near-infrared spectral energy distribution is well fitted by a few dusty and/or young L7-L9 dwarf spectral templates. The extremely red 1-4 μm spectral distribution is typical of low-gravity objects at the L/T spectral type transition. The planet's orbital motion is resolved between January 2015 and May 2017. Together with past NaCo measurements properly re-calibrated, our orbital fitting solutions favor a retrograde low to moderate-eccentricity orbit e = 0.2[SUP]+0.3[/SUP][SUB]-0.2[/SUB], with a semi-major axis 52 au corresponding to orbital periods of 288 yr and an inclination that peaks at i = 141°, which is compatible with a planet-disk coplanar configuration. Finally, we report the detection in polarimetric differential imaging of the cold outer debris belt between 100 and 300 au, consistent in radial extent with recent ALMA 1.3 mm resolved observations. <P />Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile (ESO SPHERE Guaranteed Time Observation Program 095.C-0273, 095.C-0298, 096.C-0241, 097.C-0865, 198.C-0209) and ESO HARPS Open Time Observation Program 099.C-0205, 192. C-0224. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterizing the atmosphere of Proxima b with a space-based mid-infrared nulling interferometer
Defrere, Denis ULiege; Léger, A.; Absil, Olivier ULiege et al

in Proceedings of SPIE: The International Society for Optical Engineering (2018, July 09), 10701

Proxima b is our nearest potentially rocky exoplanet and represents a formidable opportunity for exoplanet science and possibly astrobiology. With an angular separation of only 35 mas (or 0.05 AU) from ... [more ▼]

Proxima b is our nearest potentially rocky exoplanet and represents a formidable opportunity for exoplanet science and possibly astrobiology. With an angular separation of only 35 mas (or 0.05 AU) from its host star, Proxima b is however hardly observable with current imaging telescopes and future space-based coronagraphs. One way to separate the photons of the planet from those of its host star is to use an interferometer that can easily resolve such spatial scales. In addition, its proximity to Earth and its favorable contrast ratio compared with its host M dwarf (approximately 10-5 at 10 microns) makes it an ideal target for a space-based nulling interferometer with relatively small apertures. In this paper, we present the motivation for observing this planet in the mid-infrared (5-20 microns) and the corresponding technological challenges. Then, we describe the concept of a space-based infrared interferometer with relatively small (<1m in diameter) apertures that can measure key details of Proxima b, such as its size, temperature, climate structure, as well as the presence of important atmospheric molecules such as H2O, CO2, O3, and CH4. Finally, we illustrate the concept by showing realistic observations using synthetic spectra of Proxima b computed with coupled climate chemistry models. © 2018 SPIE. [less ▲]

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See detailE-ELT/METIS
Brandl, B.; Quanz, S.; Feldt, M. et al

in Simon, R.; Schaaf, R.; Stutzki, J. (Eds.) Conditions and Impact of Star Formation (2016, May 20)

The Mid-infrared E-ELT Imager and Spectrograph (METIS) will be one of the first three scientific instruments on the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). It will be the only instrument to cover the ... [more ▼]

The Mid-infrared E-ELT Imager and Spectrograph (METIS) will be one of the first three scientific instruments on the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). It will be the only instrument to cover the thermal/mid-infrared wavelength range from 3-19 μm. METIS offers a number of scientifically important observing modes, including diffraction-limited imaging, low resolution slit spectroscopy, coronagraphy, and high resolution (R ˜ 100,000) integral field spectroscopy at very high sensitivity. This paper gives a brief summary of METIS and focuses on its unique discovery space in the area of protoplanetary disks, where METIS is quite complementary to ALMA and JWST. [less ▲]

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