Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

An updated study of potential targets for Ariel

Edwards, Billy, Mugnai, Lorenzo, Tinetti, Giovanna, Pascale, Enzo ORCID: and Sarkar, Subhajit 2019. An updated study of potential targets for Ariel. Astronomical Journal 157 (6) , p. 242. 10.3847/1538-3881/ab1cb9

[thumbnail of Edwards_2019_AJ_157_242.pdf] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB)


Ariel has been selected as ESA's M4 mission for launch in 2028 and is designed for the characterization of a large and diverse population of exoplanetary atmospheres to provide insights into planetary formation and evolution within our Galaxy. Here we present a study of Ariel's capability to observe currently known exoplanets and predicted Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) discoveries. We use the Ariel radiometric model (ArielRad) to simulate the instrument performance and find that ~2000 of these planets have atmospheric signals which could be characterized by Ariel. This list of potential planets contains a diverse range of planetary and stellar parameters. From these we select an example mission reference sample (MRS), comprised of 1000 diverse planets to be completed within the primary mission life, which is consistent with previous studies. We also explore the mission capability to perform an in-depth survey into the atmospheres of smaller planets, which may be enriched or secondary. Earth-sized planets and super-Earths with atmospheres heavier than H/He will be more challenging to observe spectroscopically. However, by studying the time required to observe ~110 Earth-sized/super-Earths, we find that Ariel could have substantial capability for providing in-depth observations of smaller planets. Trade-offs between the number and type of planets observed will form a key part of the selection process and this list of planets will continually evolve with new exoplanet discoveries replacing predicted detections. The Ariel target list will be constantly updated and the MRS re-selected to ensure maximum diversity in the population of planets studied during the primary mission life.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: American Astronomical Society
ISSN: 0004-6256
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 June 2019
Date of Acceptance: 24 April 2019
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 04:56

Citation Data

Cited 62 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics