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2018-01-24. Looking to the Future of Exoplanet Science.

posted Jan 29, 2018, 2:56 PM by Alan Gould
By Kimberly M. S. Cartier, Eos/AGU. For GSS A Changing Cosmos chapter 8. Excerpt: Upcoming missions seeking to unravel the secrets of exoplanets abound. An informal survey of astronomers revealed which of those projects they most eagerly await. ...Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)... expected launch is around 7 years ...is not a dedicated exoplanet telescope. ...WFIRST will be an imaging-only telescope hosting two instruments, a wide-field camera and a coronagraph,.... European Space Agency’s (ESA) upcoming planet hunter, called Planetary Transits and Oscillations of Stars (PLATO), ... 6-year mission is not scheduled to launch until 2024, its goal of monitoring more than 1 million stars for signals of planetary transits.... NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) ...is currently scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida this year, sometime from early March to late June. ...TESS will conduct the first space-based, all-sky transit survey, which it will carry out in a mere 2 years. ...TESS will monitor the brightest 200,000 stars in small patches of the sky for 27 days apiece before moving on to another area.... James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)...the successor to the HST, ...is currently scheduled to launch from French Guiana in spring 2019. ...JWST is not dedicated solely to the search for and characterization of exoplanets. After the telescope opens its “eyes,” it will observe planets, stars, galaxies, and the universe in equal proportion. Moreover, the planetary component of JWST’s mission is not even exclusive to exoplanets, as it will also explore planets and other objects in our solar system and study the potential for life close to home.... https://eos.org/articles/looking-to-the-future-of-exoplanet-science