Red worlds: Spitzer exploration of a compact system of temperate terrestrial planets transiting a nearby Jupiter-sized star

Abstract : The recently detected TRAPPIST-1 planetary system represents a unique opportunity to extend the nascent field of comparative exoplanetology into the realm of temperate terrestrial worlds. It is composed of at least three Earth-sized planets similar in sizes and irradiations to Earth and Venus transiting an ultra-cool dwarf star only 39 light-years away. Thanks to the Jupiter-size and infrared brightness of their host star, the planets are amenable for detailed atmospheric characterization with JWST, including for biosignatures detection. Our Spitzer Exploration Science Program aims to prepare and optimize the detailed study of this fascinating planetary system through the two following complementary sub-programs: (1) a 480 hrs continuous monitoring of the star to explore its full inner system up to its ice line in a search for any other transiting object(s) (planet, moon, Trojan) with a sensitivity high enough to detect any body as small as Ganymede, and (2) the observation of ~130 transits of the planets (520 hrs). This second part has two goals. First, to measure precisely the planets' masses and eccentricities through the Transit Timing Variations method, to constrain strongly their compositions and energy budgets. Secondly, to measure with an extremely high precision the planets' effective radii at 4.5 microns to assess, when combined with future HST/WFC3 observations, the presence of an atmosphere around them. The two complementary parts of this program will make it a long-lasting legacy of Spitzer to the fields of comparative exoplanetology and astrobiology, by providing the necessary measurements on the inner system of TRAPPIST-1 (complete census, masses, eccentricities, first insights on atmospheres) required to initiate and optimize the detailed atmospheric characterization of its different components with JWST and other future facilities.
Type de document :
Autre publication
Spitzer Proposal ID #13067. 2016, pp.13067
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Contributeur : Marie-Paule Pomies <>
Soumis le : vendredi 2 septembre 2016 - 14:56:38
Dernière modification le : mardi 29 mai 2018 - 12:51:09




Michael, Gillon, Artem, Burdanov, Laetitia, Delrez, Emmanuel, Jehin, Pierre, Magain, et al.. Red worlds: Spitzer exploration of a compact system of temperate terrestrial planets transiting a nearby Jupiter-sized star. Spitzer Proposal ID #13067. 2016, pp.13067. 〈hal-01359510〉



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