DevelopingThe Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey (Ariel)

Ariel is a dedicated space telescope mission for exoplanet science led by the European Space Agency (ESA). The telescope will conduct atmospheric spectroscopy of about 1,000 transiting exoplanets. Japan will contribute to Ariel through the development of optical elements, science, and ground-based observations.

Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope

The Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey (Ariel) is a space telescope mission dedicated to atmospheric spectroscopy of extrasolar planets led by the European Space Agency (ESA).

Ariel will target about 1000 exoplanets that transit their star, crossing in front of the star’s face as seen from Earth. During exoplanet transits, Ariel will measure the spectra of the light that passes through the planet’s atmosphere to reveal compositional details.
For these observations, Ariel carries a telescope with a 1.1 m × 0.7 m elliptical primary mirror and observes in the wavelength range 0.5 - 7.8 μm (visible and infrared).
Ariel is scheduled to be launched in 2029 and wil travel to the Sun-Earth Lagrange point 2 (L2).

The Japan team will contribute to Arial through the development of optical elements for the Ariel Infra-Red Spectrometer (AIRS), as well as science such as modeling of exoplanet atmospheres, and ground-based observations.

(Image Credit: ESA/STFC RAL Space/UCL/UK Space Agency/ ATG Medialab)

Facts and Figures  (* Source : Ariel Space Mission)

Elliptical primary mirror 1.1 x 0.7 metres
Mission lifetime at least 4 years in orbit
Payload mass / launch mass ~500 kg / ~ 1500kg
Instrumentation 3 photometric channels and 3 spectrometers covering continuously from 0.5 to 7.8 microns in wavelength
Launch date 2029
Destination Sun – Earth Lagrange Point 2 (L2)
Launch vehicle Ariane 6-2. Launch shared with Comet Interceptor