The ESA-Ariel mission will include a tier dedicated to exoplanet phase curves corresponding to ∼10 % of the science time. We present here the current observing strategy for studying exoplanet phase curves with Ariel. We define science questions, requirements and a list of potential targets. We also estimate the precision of phase curve reconstruction and atmospheric retrieval using simulated phase curves. Based on this work, we found that full-orbit phase variations for 35-40 exoplanets could be observed during the 3.5-yr mission. This statistical sample would provide key constraints on atmospheric dynamics, composition, thermal structure and clouds of warm exoplanets, complementary to the scientific yield from spectroscopic transits/eclipses measurements.
- Pub Date:
- April 2022
- Ariel space mission;
- Phase curves;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
- 27 pages, 10 figures, accepted for publication in Experimental Astronomy, Ariel Special Issue