Reference : Characterizing the atmosphere of Proxima b with a space-based mid-infrared nulling in...
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Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences : Space science, astronomy & astrophysics
Characterizing the atmosphere of Proxima b with a space-based mid-infrared nulling interferometer
Defrere, Denis mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département d'astrophys., géophysique et océanographie (AGO) > ISSPSILAB >]
Léger, A. [Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Université de Paris-Sud, Orsay, France]
Absil, Olivier mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département d'astrophys., géophysique et océanographie (AGO) > ISSPSILAB >]
Garcia Munoz, A. [Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany]
Grenfell, J. L. [Institute for Planetary Research, German Aerospace Center, Berlin, Germany]
Godolt, M. [Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany]
Loicq, Jerôme mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > > CSL (Centre Spatial de Liège) >]
Kammerer, J. [Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2611, Australia]
Quanz, S. [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich, Institute for Particle Physics and Astrophysics, Zurich, Switzerland]
Rauer, H. [Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Université de Paris-Sud, Orsay, France]
Schifano, L. [Space Sciences, Technologies and Astrophysics Research (STAR) Institute, Université de Liège, 19c allée du Six Aout, Liège, B-4000, Belgium]
Tian, F. [Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China]
Tuthill, P. G. [> >]
Creech [> >]
Eakman, M. J. [> >]
Merand, A. [> >]
Proceedings of SPIE: The International Society for Optical Engineering
International Society for Optical Engineering
2018 Optical and Infrared Interferometry and Imaging VI
11 June 2018 through 15 June 2018
[en] Exoplanet ; Habitable ; Infrared imaging ; Nulling ; Proxima b ; Proxima Cen ; Atmospheric structure ; Climate models ; Extrasolar planets ; Infrared devices ; Interferometers ; Interferometry ; Stars ; Atmospheric molecules ; Nulling interferometer ; Space-based infrared ; Technological challenges ; Thermography (imaging)
[en] 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.
4D Technology;Andor Technology, Ltd.;Astronomical Consultants and Equipment, Inc.;et al.;Giant Magellan Telescope;The Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
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