Far future of exoplanet detection

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Far future of exoplanet detection

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 5th October 2009, 8:39 pm

An interesting paper, sort of like those computer magazines that you can browse through and think "Oh I wish I had that."

The Far Future of Exoplanet Direct Characterization
http://arxiv.org/abs/0910.0726

abstract wrote:In this outlook we describe what could be the next steps of the direct characterization of habitable exoplanets after first the medium and large mission projects and investigate the benefits of the spectroscopic and direct imaging approaches. We show that after third and fourth generation missions foreseeable for the next 100 years, we will face a very long era before being able to see directly the morphology of extrasolar organisms.

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Re: Far future of exoplanet detection

Post by Lazarus on 6th October 2009, 4:07 pm

One possible future mission this study does not discuss is using the Sun as a gravitational lens. Beyond ~550 AU the Sun would focus light waves (you'd need to get further out than this to avoid effects of the corona, etc in practice).

Less far to travel than an interstellar mission, perhaps would provide a very good way of studying interesting exoplanets?
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Re: Far future of exoplanet detection

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 6th October 2009, 8:51 pm

You could only study one extrasolar system though, else you would have to move the spacecraft quite far since you can only observe magnified objects directly on the opposite side of the sun. I love the idea though.

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