The ARIEL (Atmospheric Remote-sensing Exoplanet Large-survey) mission concept is one of the three M4 mission candidates selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) for a Phase A study, competing for a launch in 2026. ARIEL has been designed to study the physical and chemical properties of a large and diverse sample of exoplanets and, through those, understand how planets form and evolve in our galaxy. Here we describe the assumptions made to estimate an optimal sample of exoplanets - including already known exoplanets and expected ones yet to be discovered - observable by ARIEL and define a realistic mission scenario. To achieve the mission objectives, the sample should include gaseous and rocky planets with a range of temperatures around stars of different spectral type and metallicity. The current ARIEL design enables the observation of ∼1000 planets, covering a broad range of planetary and stellar parameters, during its four year mission lifetime. This nominal list of planets is expected to evolve over the years depending on the new exoplanet discoveries.
- Pub Date:
- November 2018
- ARIEL space mission;
- Planetary population;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
- 36 pages, 33 figures, accepted for publication on Experimental Astronomy, ARIEL special issue