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Towards habitable Earths with EUCLID and WFIRST

  • Jean-Philippe Beaulieu (a1) (a2), David P. Bennett (a3), Eamonn Kerins (a4) and Matthew Penny (a4)
Abstract

The discovery of extrasolar planets is arguably the most exciting development in astrophysics during the past 15 years, rivalled only by the detection of dark energy. Two projects are now at the intersection of the two communities of exoplanet scientists and cosmologists: EUCLID, proposed as an ESA M-class mission; and WFIRST, the top-ranked large space mission for the next decade by the Astro 2010 Decadal Survey report. The missions are to have several important science programs: a dark energy survey using weak lensing, baryon acoustic oscillations, Type Ia supernova, a survey of exoplanetary architectures using microlensing, and different surveys. The WFIRST and EUCLID microlensing planet search programs will provide a statistical census of exoplanets with masses greater than the mass of Mars and orbital separations ranging from 0.5 AU outwards, including free-floating planets. This will include analogs of all Solar System planets except for Mercury, as well as most types of planets predicted by planet formation theories. In combination with Kepler's census of planets in shorter period orbits, EUCLID and WFIRST's planet search programs will provide a complete statistical census of the planets that populate our Galaxy. As of today, EUCLID is proposed to ESA as a M class mission (the result of the selection will be known in october 2011). We are presenting here preliminary results about the expected planet yields. WFIRST has just appointed a Science Definition Team.

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References
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Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
  • ISSN: 1743-9213
  • EISSN: 1743-9221
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-international-astronomical-union
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