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Paper: High Contrast Imaging: A New Frontier for Exoplanets Search and Characterization
Volume: 450, Molecules in the Atmospheres of Extrasolar Planets
Page: 203
Authors: Claudi, R. U.; Bonavita, M.; Desidera, S.; Gratton, R.; Tinetti, G.; Beuzit, J.; Kasper, M.; Mordassini, C.
Abstract: The discovery of 51 Peg in 1995 initiated the search for extrasolar planets with radial velocity. Since then, more than 330 expoplanets have been discovered with this successful technique. After a more timid start, the search for extrasolar planets with the transit method has begun to collect very promising results (55 planets discovered up till now). COROT, Kepler, TESS and ground-based surveys will provide many more candidates in a short term future. Moreover, for a selected sample of transiting exoplanets it is already possible to probe their atmospheres. Although very successful, both these methods are sensitive to planets which orbit quite close to their parent star. High contrast imaging will be the new frontier for exoplanet search and characterization. This technique will provide the opportunity to explore planets with masses down to the earth mass and/or orbiting at larger separation from their parent star, especially in the habitable zone. The possibility to couple an integral field spectrograph to a module for extreme adaptive optics and a 8m class telescope (SPHERE for VLT and GPI for South Gemini) or in the future to ELTs (EPICS), will allow to characterize the atmospheres of the observed exoplanets with low resolution spectroscopy. Here we present the advantages and limits of the high contrast imaging technique to detect and characterize exoplanets in the short and long term future, expecially compared to the RV and Transit methods.
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