[FPSPACE] The Small Prototype Planet Finding Interferometer (SPPFI)
ljk4 at msn.com
Thu Jan 31 15:09:23 EST 2008
Towards a Small Prototype Planet Finding Interferometer: The next step in
planet finding and characterization in the infrared
Authors: W.C. Danchi, D. Deming, K. G. Carpenter, R. K. Barry, P. Hinz, K.
J. Johnston, P. Lawson, O. Lay, J. D. Monnier, L. J. Richardson, S.
Rinehart, W. Traub
(Submitted on 30 Jan 2008)
Abstract: During the last few years, considerable effort has been directed
towards large-scale (more than $1 Billion US) missions to detect and
characterize earth-like planets around nearby stars, such as the Terrestrial
Planet Finder Interferometer (TPF-I) and Darwin missions.
However, technological and budgetary issues as well as shifting science
priorities will likely prevent these missions from entering Phase A until
the next decade. The secondary eclipse technique using the Spitzer Space
Telescope has been used to directly measure the temperature and emission
spectrum of extrasolar planets. However, only a small fraction of known
extrasolar planets are in transiting orbits.
Thus, a simplified nulling interferometer, which produces an artificial
eclipse or occultation, and operates in the near- to mid-infrared (e.g. ~ 3
to 8 or 10 microns), can characterize the atmospheres of this much larger
sample of the known but non-transiting exoplanets. Many other scientific
problems can be addressed with a system like this, including imaging debris
disks, active galactic nuclei, and low mass companions around nearby stars.
We discuss the rationale for a probe-scale mission in the $600-800 Million
range, which we name here as the Small Prototype Planet Finding
Comments: 8 pages, 4 figures, white paper for Exoplanet Task Force, March
Subjects: Astrophysics (astro-ph)
Cite as: arXiv:0801.4752v1 [astro-ph]
From: William Danchi [view email]
[v1] Wed, 30 Jan 2008 20:04:56 GMT (1420kb)
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