B. Charnay, J. Mendonça, L. Kreidberg, Nicolas B. Cowan, J. E. Taylor, Taylor J. Bell, O. Demangeon, Billy Edwards, C. A. Haswell, G. Morello, Lorenzo V. Mugnai, E. Pascale, G. Tinetti, P. Tremblin, Robert T. Zellem
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.
Exoplanets; Ariel space mission; Atmospheres; Phase curves; Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics; Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics