Presentation #502.04 in the session Future 2.
Thousands of exoplanets have now been discovered with a huge range of masses, sizes and orbits. However, the essential nature of these planets remains largely mysterious. We have poor observational insights into how the chemistry of a planet is linked to its formation environment, or how the type of host star drives the processes controlling the planet’s birth and evolution.
Ariel, the ESA M4 mission which will launch in 2029, will characterise the atmospheres of ~1000 exoplanets with instruments providing simultaneous spectral coverage from 0.5-7.8 microns. By providing homogenous datasets of a large and diverse population, Ariel will offer profound insights into planetary formation and evolution within our galaxy and uncover the demographics of exoplanetary atmospheres.
I will present the latest study of potential targets for Ariel, discussing the potential impact of the TESS planet candidates and mission extensions as well as highlighting the immense effort that will be needed to confirm the planetary nature of these. I will also discuss the impacts that other facilities (e.g. JWST, Twinkle) will have on Ariel’s strategy and highlight areas which require additional theoretical or observational study.