Presentation #231.02 in the session “Startling New Technology, Big and Small”.
UV-SCOPE aims to measure the UV transmission spectra of exoplanets to probe the conditions and composition of their upper-atmospheres, directly measure exospheric escape, and derive the associated impact of stellar UV radiation upon planets, as it is key to the formation, evolution, and chemistry of exoplanet atmospheres. For rocky, habitable zone planets this also includes the UV impact on planet habitability and the detection and interpretation of biosignatures using future instrumentation. UV-SCOPE would be the first, MidEx-scale UV spectroscopic mission devoted to time-domain observations of exoplanets and their stars. By observing young and old AFGKM stars with transiting planets simultaneously with both far- and near-UV spectroscopy, we seek to answer the following questions: • How do planet atmospheres form and evolve under various stellar conditions? • What are those planet atmospheres really made of and are they like others in our Solar System? • Can planets around active stars be habitable and can we accurately interpret their biosignatures? • What are the physics in stellar atmospheres that produce such strong UV emission and flares in low-mass stars? In addition to filling the potentially decade(s?) long gap in U.S. access to UV spectroscopy, UV-SCOPE will provide the observations needed to help answer today’s driving questions in exoplanet science.