Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Precision Space Astrometry as a Tool to Find Earth-like Exoplanets

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
March 13, 2018
Filed under
Precision Space Astrometry as a Tool to Find Earth-like Exoplanets
extrasolar planet

Because of the recent technological advances, the key technologies needed for precision space optical astrometry are now in hand.

The Microarcsecond Astrometry Probe (MAP) mission concept is designed to find 1 Earth mass planets at 1AU orbit (scaled to solar luminosity) around the nearest ~90 FGK stars. The MAP payload includes i) a single three-mirror anastigmatic telescope with a 1-m primary mirror and metrology subsystems, and ii) a camera. The camera focal plane consists of 42 detectors, providing a Nyquist sampled FOV of 0.4-deg. Its metrology subsystems ensure that MAP can achieve the 0.8 uas astrometric precision in 1 hr, which is required to detect Earth-like exoplanets in our stellar neighborhood. MAP mission could provide ~10 specific targets for a much larger coronagraphic mission that would measure its spectra.

We argue for the development of the space astrometric missions capable of finding Earth-2.0. Given the current technology readiness such missions relying on precision astrometry could be flown in the next decade, perhaps in collaboration with other national space agencies.

Michael Shao, Slava G. Turyshev, Eduardo Bendek, Debra Fischer, Olivier Guyon, Barbara McArthur, Matthew Muterspaugh, Chengxing Zhai, Celine Boehm
(Submitted on 10 Mar 2018)

Comments: A White Paper to the National Academy of Sciences Committee on an Exoplanet Science Strategy Call for Papers. 6 pages, 2 figures, 1 table
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1803.03732 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1803.03732v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Slava G. Turyshev
[v1] Sat, 10 Mar 2018 01:10:51 GMT (530kb)

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