Imaging & Spectroscopy

The Slicer Combined With Array Of Lenslets For Exoplanet Spectroscopy (SCALES): Driving Science Cases And Expected Outcomes

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
October 12, 2023
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The Slicer Combined With Array Of Lenslets For Exoplanet Spectroscopy (SCALES): Driving Science Cases And Expected Outcomes
Example simulated SCALES L band observations of an HR 8799 analog, with three planets having effective temperatures between 900 K and 1100 K and radii of 1 RJ. Top panels show ADI-processed slices from a low-resolution L band mock observation of a system of exoplanets similar to HR 8799. The bottom panel shows the recovered spectra for the three injected planets (green, purple, blue lines) plotted over the injected spectra (grey lines). The vertical lines in the bottom panel indicate the wavelengths of the three images in the top panels. The simulated observations assumed one hour of total integration time spread over ∼ 80◦ of parallactic angle evolution. — astro-ph.IM

The Slicer Combined with Array of Lenslets for Exoplanet Spectroscopy (SCALES) is a 2−5 μm, high-contrast integral field spectrograph (IFS) currently being built for Keck Observatory.

With both low (R≲250) and medium (R∼3500−7000) spectral resolution IFS modes, SCALES will detect and characterize significantly colder exoplanets than those accessible with near-infrared (∼1−2 μm) high-contrast spectrographs. This will lead to new progress in exoplanet atmospheric studies, including detailed characterization of benchmark systems that will advance the state of the art of atmospheric modeling. SCALES’ unique modes, while designed specifically for direct exoplanet characterization, will enable a broader range of novel (exo)planetary observations as well as galactic and extragalactic studies. Here we present the science cases that drive the design of SCALES.

We describe an end-to-end instrument simulator that we use to track requirements, and show simulations of expected science yields for each driving science case. We conclude with a discussion of preparations for early science when the instrument sees first light in ∼2025.

Steph Sallum, Andrew Skemer, Deno Stelter, Ravinder Banyal, Natalie Batalha, Natasha Batalha, Geoff Blake, Tim Brandt, Zack Briesemeister, Katherine de Kleer, Imke de Pater, Aditi Desai, Josh Eisner, Wen-fai Fong, Tom Greene, Mitsuhiko Honda, Rebecca Jensen-Clem, Isabel Kain, Charlie Kilpatrick, Renate Kupke, Mackenzie Lach, Michael C. Liu, Bruce Macintosh, Raquel A. Martinez, Dimitri Mawet, Brittany Miles, Caroline Morley, Diana Powell, Ramya Sethuram, Patrick Sheehan, Justin Spilker, Jordan Stone, Arun Surya, Sivarani Thirupathi, Athira Unni, Kevin Wagner, Yifan Zhou

Comments: 10 pages, 16 figures, submitted to Proceedings of the SPIE
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2310.07134 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2310.07134v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Steph Sallum
[v1] Wed, 11 Oct 2023 02:16:07 UTC (2,403 KB)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻