Exploring the Nearest M-Earths Through Ultra-Stable Mid-IR Transit and Phase-Curve Spectroscopy

©MIRECLE

MIRECLE

This White Paper presents a mission concept called MIRECLE - the Mid-InfraRed Exoplanet CLimate Explorer.

With a moderately sized aperture of 2 meters, broad wavelength coverage (4 - 25 um), and next generation instruments, MIRECLE will be capable of efficiently characterizing a statistically significant sample of terrestrial planets, many of which will be in their host stars's habitable zones. Spectroscopic characterization of terrestrial atmospheres will provide constraints for the distribution of planets with tenuous vs. substantial atmospheres, on the inner and outer edges of the habitable zone, and climate models to assess the potential for habitability.

For the few brightest targets, the detection of specific combinations of molecules would provide evidence of biosignatures. For all other targets, this comprehensive survey would filter out the airless, desiccated, or lifeless worlds, thus providing a subset of potentially habitable worlds ready for in-depth atmospheric characterization using a larger aperture telescope.

The Mid-InfraRed Exo-planet CLimate Explorer MIRECLE: Exploring the Nearest M-Earths Through Ultra-Stable Mid-IR Transit and Phase-Curve Spectroscopy

Johannes Staguhn, Avi Mandell, Kevin Stevenson, Prabal Saxena, Ravi Kopparapu, Dale Fixsen, Elmer Sharp, Michael DiPirro, Claudia Knez, Eric Wolf, Kristin Sotzen, Kathleen Mandt, Qian Gong, Geronimo Villanueva
(Submitted on 6 Aug 2019)

Comments: Astro2020: Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics APC White Paper
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1908.02356 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1908.02356v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Johannes Staguhn
[v1] Tue, 6 Aug 2019 20:38:34 UTC (3,886 KB)
https://arxiv.org/abs/1908.02356
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