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Thu, 02 Mar

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Detecting and Characterizing Terrestrial Exoplanets: Earth-like planets, their atmospheres and habitability

Lars Buchhave (Technical University of Denmark)

Detecting and Characterizing Terrestrial Exoplanets: Earth-like planets, their atmospheres and habitability
Detecting and Characterizing Terrestrial Exoplanets: Earth-like planets, their atmospheres and habitability

Time & Location

02 Mar 2023, 14:00 – 15:00 CET

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About the event

Detecting and characterizing the secondary atmosphere of Earth-sized planets has long been an ambition in the exoplanet field and would represent a major step forward. The newly launched James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is capable of probing the atmospheres of terrestrial-sized exoplanets orbiting cool M dwarf host stars, if such planets retain atmospheres. In this talk, I will describe our first transit observation of TRAPPIST-1c with NIRSpec/PRISM, which is part of our JWST program to attempt to detect an atmosphere of TRAPPIST-1c (remaining three transits are schedule in the fall of 2023).

Secondly, our group has secured resources to design, build, and install the Second Earth Initiative Spectrograph (2ES): a next-generation extreme-precision radial velocity spectrograph on the MPG/ESO 2.2m Telescope on La Silla, Chile dedicated to a >5-year observing period with the ambitious goal of discovering temperate terrestrial Earth-mass planets orbiting the brightest solar-type stars in the Southern Hemisphere. Such discoveries would be the targets of next-generation flagship missions to characterize their atmospheres. Our collaboration has secured access to the majority of the time on the MPG/ESO 2.2m telescope to observe a modest sample of quiet solar-type stars every night (weather and visibility permitting) providing a large and uniformly sampled high cadence extreme precision RV dataset. Providing continuous radial velocity precision over longer periods of time and mitigating the inevitable presence of stellar activity will be crucial in the attempt to detect the minute signals of temperate terrestrial planets.

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