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Large Interferometer For Exoplanets (LIFE). I. Improved exoplanet detection yield estimates for a large mid-infrared space-interferometer mission

Quanz, S. P. and Ottiger, M. and Fontanet, E. and Kammerer, J. and Menti, F. and Dannert, F. and Gheorghe, A. and Absil, O. and Airapetian, Vladimir and Alei, E. and Allart, R. and Angerhausen, D. and Blumenthal, S. and Buchhave, L. A. and Cabrera Perez, Juan and Carrión-González, Óscar and Chauvin, G. and Danchi, WC and Dandumont, C. and Defrere, D. and Dorn, C. and Ehrenreich, D. and Ertel, S and Fridlund, M. and Garcia Munoz, A. and Gascón, C. and Girard, J. H. and Glauser, A. and Grenfell, John Lee and Guidi, G. and Hagelberg, J. and Helled, Ravit and Ireland, M. J. and Janson, M. and Kopparapu, R. K. and Korth, J. and Kozakis, T. and Kraus, S. and Leger, A. and Leedjärv, L. and Lichtenberg, T. and Lillo-Box, J. and Linz, H. and Liseau, René and Loicq, J. and Mahendra, V. and Malbet, F. and Mathew, J. and Mennesson, B. and Meyer, M. R. and Mishra, Lokesh and Molaverdikhani, K. and Noack, L and Oza, A. V. and Palle, E. and Parviainen, H and Quirrenbach, A. and Rauer, Heike and Ribas, I. and Rice, M. and Romagnolo, A. and Rugheimer, S. and Schwieterman, E.W. and Serabyn, E. and Sharma, S. and Stassun, K.G. and Szulagyi, J. and Wang, H. S. and Wunderlich, Fabian and Wyatt, M. C. (2022) Large Interferometer For Exoplanets (LIFE). I. Improved exoplanet detection yield estimates for a large mid-infrared space-interferometer mission. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 664, A21. EDP Sciences. doi: 10.1051/0004-6361/202140366. ISSN 0004-6361.

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Official URL: https://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/full_html/2022/08/aa40366-21/aa40366-21.html

Abstract

Context. One of the long-term goals of exoplanet science is the atmospheric characterization of dozens of small exoplanets in order to understand their diversity and search for habitable worlds and potential biosignatures. Achieving this goal requires a space mission of sufficient scale that can spatially separate the signals from exoplanets and their host stars and thus directly scrutinize the exoplanets and their atmospheres. Aims. We seek to quantify the exoplanet detection performance of a space-based mid-infrared (MIR) nulling interferometer that measures the thermal emission of exoplanets. We study the impact of various parameters and compare the performance with that of large single-aperture mission concepts that detect exoplanets in reflected light. Methods. We have developed an instrument simulator that considers all major astrophysical noise sources and coupled it with Monte Carlo simulations of a synthetic exoplanet population around main-sequence stars within 20 pc of the Sun. This allows us to quantify the number (and types) of exoplanets that our mission concept could detect. Considering single visits only, we discuss two different scenarios for distributing 2.5 yr of an initial search phase among the stellar targets. Different apertures sizes and wavelength ranges are investigated. Results. An interferometer consisting of four 2 m apertures working in the 4-18.5 micron wavelength range with a total instrument throughput of 5% could detect up to ~550 exoplanets with radii between 0.5 and 6 RE with an integrated S/N > 7. At least ~160 of the detected exoplanets have radii <1.5 RE. Depending on the observing scenario, ~25-45 rocky exoplanets (objects with radii between 0.5 and 1.5 RE) orbiting within the empirical habitable zone (eHZ) of their host stars are among the detections. With four 3.5 m apertures, the total number of detections can increase to up to ~770, including ~60-80 rocky eHZ planets. With four times 1 m apertures, the maximum detection yield is ~315 exoplanets, including <20 rocky eHZ planets. The vast majority of small, temperate exoplanets are detected around M dwarfs. The impact of changing the wavelength range to 3-20 micron or 6-17 micron on the detection yield is negligible. Conclusions. A large space-based MIR nulling interferometer will be able to directly detect hundreds of small, nearby exoplanets, tens of which would be habitable world candidates. This shows that such a mission can compete with large single-aperture reflected light missions. Further increasing the number of habitable world candidates, in particular around solar-type stars, appears possible via the implementation of a multi-visit strategy during the search phase. The high median S/N of most of the detected planets will allow for first estimates of their radii and effective temperatures and will help prioritize the targets for a second mission phase to obtain high-S/N thermal emission spectra, leveraging the superior diagnostic power of the MIR regime compared to shorter wavelengths.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/190411/
Document Type:Article
Title:Large Interferometer For Exoplanets (LIFE). I. Improved exoplanet detection yield estimates for a large mid-infrared space-interferometer mission
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Quanz, S. P.ETH Zürichhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3829-7412UNSPECIFIED
Ottiger, M.ETH ZürichUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Fontanet, E.ETH ZürichUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Kammerer, J.European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748, Garching, Germany; Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Australian National University, ACT 2611, Australia; Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 2UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Menti, F.ETH ZürichUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Dannert, F.ETH ZürichUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Gheorghe, A.ETH ZürichUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Absil, O.STAR Institute, University of Liège, 19C allée du Six Aout, 4000, Liège, BelgiumUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Airapetian, VladimirNASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20771, Maryland, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Alei, E.ETH Zürich, Institute for Particle Physics and AstrophysicsUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Allart, R.Observatoire Astronomique de l’Université de Genève, CheminPegasi 51, Versoix, SwitzerlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Angerhausen, D.ETH Zürich, Institute for Particle Physics and Astrophysics, Zurich,SwitzerlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Blumenthal, S.University of Oxford, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, Clarendon Laboratory, Sherrington Road, Oxford OX1 3PU, UKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Buchhave, L. A.DTU Space, National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Elektrovej 328, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, DenmarkUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Cabrera Perez, JuanUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6653-5487UNSPECIFIED
Carrión-González, ÓscarTechnische Universität BerlinUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Chauvin, G.Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IPAG, 38000, Grenoble, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Danchi, WCNASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Dandumont, C.Centre Spatial de Liège, Université de Liège, Avenue Pré-Aily, 4031, Angleur, BelgiumUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Defrere, D.Uni Liege, Rue Louvrex 14, 4000 Liège, BelgienUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Dorn, C.Institute of Computational Sciences, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstraße 109, 8057, Zurich, SwitzerlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ehrenreich, D.Observatoire de Genève, University of Geneva, SwitzerlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ertel, SLarge Binocular Telescope Observatory, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA; Steward Observatory, Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona, 993 N. Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ, 85721, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Fridlund, M.leiden observatory, university of leiden, po box 9513, 2300 ra, leiden, the netherlands | department of earth and space sciences, chalmers university of technology, onsala space observatory, 439 92 onsala, swedenUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Garcia Munoz, A.Zentrum fuer Astronomie und Astrophysik, Technische Universitaet Berlin, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Gascón, C.Institut de Ciències de l'Espai (ICE, CSIC), Campus UAB, C/Can Magrans s/n, 08193, Bellaterra, SpainUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Girard, J. H.Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Glauser, A.ETH ZürichUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Grenfell, John LeeUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Guidi, G.ETH Zurich, Institute for Particle Physics & Astrophysics, Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 27, 8093, Zurich, Switzerland ; National Center of Competence in Research PlanetS, Gesellschaftsstrasse 6, 3012, Bern, SwitzerlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hagelberg, J.Observatoire astronomique de l'Université de Genève, chemin Pegasi 51b, 1290, Versoix, SwitzerlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Helled, RavitInstitute for Computational Science, University of Zurich, Zurich, SwitzerlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ireland, M. J.Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Australian National University, ACT 2611, AustraliaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Janson, M.Uni. StockholmUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Kopparapu, R. K.NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Rd, Greenbelt, MD, 20771, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Korth, J.Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Astronomy and PlasmaPhysics, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, SwedenUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Kozakis, T.DTU Space, National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Elektrovej 328, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, DenmarkUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Kraus, S.University of Exeter, School of Physics and Astronomy, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QL, UKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Leger, A.Institut d'astrophysique Spatiale (IAS), FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Leedjärv, L.University of Tartu, Tartu Observatory, 1 Observatooriumi Str., 61602, Tõravere, Tartumaa, EstoniaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lichtenberg, T.University of Oxford, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, Clarendon Laboratory, Sherrington Road, Oxford OX1 3PU, UKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lillo-Box, J.Departmento de Astrofísica, Centro de Astrobiologia (CSIC-INTA),ESAC campus, 28692 Villanueva de la Cãda (Madrid), SpainUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Linz, H.Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117, Heidelberg, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Liseau, RenéDepartment of Radio and Space Science, Chalmers University of Technology, Onsala, SwedenUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Loicq, J.Centre Spatial de Liège, Université de Liège, Avenue Pré-Aily, 4031, Angleur, BelgiumUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Mahendra, V.SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, IndiaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Malbet, F.Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IPAG, 38000, Grenoble, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Mathew, J.Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Australian National University, ACT 2611, AustraliaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Mennesson, B.JPL, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Meyer, M. R.Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Mishra, LokeshPhysikalisches Institut, Universität Bern, Gesellschaftsstrasse 6, 3012, Bern, Switzerland; Observatoire astronomique de l'Université de Genève, chemin Pegasi 51b, 1290, Versoix, Switzerland; National Center of Competence in Research PlanetS, GesellschaftUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Molaverdikhani, K.Landessternwarte, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Königstuhl 12, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany; Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Noack, LDepartment of Earth Sciences / Institute of Geological Sciences, Free University BerlinUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Oza, A. V.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, CA 91109, USA; Physikalisches Institut, Universität Bern, Gesellschaftsstrasse 6, 3012, Bern, SwitzerlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Palle, E.instituto de astrofísica de canarias, 38205 la laguna, tenerife, spain | departamento de astrofisica, universidad de la laguna, 38206 la laguna, spainUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Parviainen, HInstituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, La Laguna, Spain; Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, SpainUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Quirrenbach, A.Landessternwarte, Zentrum fur Astronomie der Universtat Heidelberg, Konigstuhl 12, 69117, Heidelberg, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rauer, HeikeUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-6510-1828UNSPECIFIED
Ribas, I.Institute d´Estudis Espacials de Catalunya and Instituto de Ciencias des Espacio, Barcelona, SpainUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rice, M.Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Romagnolo, A.Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Bartycka 18, 00-716, Warsaw, PolandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rugheimer, S.Oxford University, Oxford, UKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Schwieterman, E.W.Dept. Earth Sci., Uni. California, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Serabyn, E.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, CA 91109, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Sharma, S.Deshbandhu College, University of Delhi, 110019, Delhi, IndiaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Stassun, K.G.Physics and Astronomy Department, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN37235, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Szulagyi, J.ETH Zurich, Institut fuer Astronomie, Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 27, 8093 Zuerich, SwitzerlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Wang, H. S.ETH Zurich, Institute for Particle Physics & Astrophysics, Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 27, 8093, Zurich, Switzerland ; National Center of Competence in Research PlanetS, Gesellschaftsstrasse 6, 3012, Bern, SwitzerlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Wunderlich, FabianUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2238-5269UNSPECIFIED
Wyatt, M. C.Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:2022
Journal or Publication Title:Astronomy & Astrophysics
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:664
DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/202140366
Page Range:A21
Publisher:EDP Sciences
ISSN:0004-6361
Status:Published
Keywords:planets and satellites: terrestrial planets / telescopes / instrumentation: high angular resolution / methods: numerical / planets and satellites: detection / infrared: planetary systems
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project PLATO - PMC and Science
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Extrasolar Planets and Atmospheres
Institute of Planetary Research > Leitungsbereich PF
Deposited By: Cabrera Perez, Juan
Deposited On:21 Nov 2022 14:54
Last Modified:21 Nov 2022 14:54

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