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The trail of water and the delivery of volatiles to habitable planets

Pontoppidan, Klaus M. and Banzatti, Andrea and Bergin, Edwin and Blake, Geoffrey A. and Brittain, Sean and Gerin, Maryvonne and Goldsmith, Paul and Kral, Quentin and Leisawitz, David and Lis, Dariusz and McClure, Melissa and Milam, Stefanie and Melnick, Gary and Najita, Joan and Öberg, Karin and Richter, Matt and Salyk, Colette and Wiedner, Martina and Zhang, Ke (2019) The trail of water and the delivery of volatiles to habitable planets. Astro2020 Science White Paper, . (Unpublished)

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Water is fundamental to our understanding of the evolution of planetary systems and the delivery of volatiles to the surfaces of potentially habitable planets. Yet, we currently have essentially no facilities capable of observing this key species comprehensively. With this white paper, we argue that we need a relatively large, cold space-based observatory equipped with a high-resolution spectrometer, in the mid- through far-infrared wavelength range (25-600~μm) in order to answer basic questions about planet formation, such as where the Earth got its water, how giant planets and planetesimals grow, and whether water is generally available to planets forming in the habitable zone of their host stars.

Item Type:Report or Paper (White Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Pontoppidan, Klaus M.0000-0001-7552-1562
Banzatti, Andrea0000-0003-4335-0900
Bergin, Edwin0000-0003-4179-6394
Blake, Geoffrey A.0000-0003-0787-1610
Goldsmith, Paul0000-0002-6622-8396
Kral, Quentin0000-0001-6527-4684
Lis, Dariusz0000-0002-0500-4700
Öberg, Karin0000-0001-8798-1347
Salyk, Colette0000-0003-3682-6632
Wiedner, Martina0000-0003-3912-7095
Zhang, Ke0000-0002-0661-7517
Group:Astronomy Department
Series Name:Astro2020 Science White Paper
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190502-132954085
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:95182
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:03 May 2019 20:10
Last Modified:20 Apr 2020 08:47

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