After the discovery of more than 400 planets beyond our Solar System, the characterization of exoplanets as well as their host stars can be considered as one of the fastest growing fields in space science during the past decade. The characterization of exoplanets can only be carried out in a well coordinated interdisciplinary way which connects planetary science, solar/stellar physics and astrophysics. We present a status report on the characterization of exoplanets and their host stars by reviewing the relevant space- and ground-based projects. One finds that the previous strategy changed from space mission concepts which were designed to search, find and characterize Earth-like rocky exoplanets to: A statistical study of planetary objects in order to get information about their abundance, an identification of potential target and finally its analysis. Spectral analysis of exoplanets is mandatory, particularly to identify bio-signatures on Earth-like planets. Direct characterization of exoplanets should be done by spectroscopy, both in the visible and in the infrared spectral range. The way leading to the direct detection and characterization of exoplanets is then paved by several questions, either concerning the pre-required science or the associated observational strategy.
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||Solar System Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science