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The Critical, Strategic Importance of Adaptive Optics-Assisted Ground-Based Telescopes for the Success of Future NASA Exoplanet Direct Imaging Missions

Currie, Thayne and Belikov, Ruslan and Guyon, Olivier and Kasdin, N. Jeremy and Marois, Christian and Marley, Mark S. and Cahoy, Kerri and Mawet, Dimitri and McElwain, Michael and Bendek, Eduardo and Kuchner, Marc J. and Meyer, Michael R. and Ammons, S. Mark and Girard, Julien and Hasegawa, Yasuhiro and López-Morales, Mercedes and Lyra, Wladimir and Mazin, Ben and Mennesson, Bertrand and Packham, Chris and Robinson, Tyler (2019) The Critical, Strategic Importance of Adaptive Optics-Assisted Ground-Based Telescopes for the Success of Future NASA Exoplanet Direct Imaging Missions. Astro2020 Science White Paper, . (Unpublished)

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Ground-based telescopes coupled with adaptive optics (AO) have been playing a leading role in exoplanet direct imaging science and technological development for the past two decades and will continue to have an indispensable role for the next decade and beyond. Over the next decade, extreme AO systems on 8-10m telescopes will 1) mitigate risk for WFIRST-CGI by identifying numerous planets the mission can spectrally characterize, 2) validate performance requirements and motivate improvements to atmosphere models needed to unambiguously characterize solar system-analogues from space, and 3) mature novel technological innovations useful for space. Extremely Large Telescopes can deliver the first thermal infrared (10 μm) images of rocky planets around Sun-like stars and identify biomarkers. These data provide a future NASA direct imaging flagship mission (i.e. HabEx, LUVOIR) with numerous exo-Earth candidates and critical ancillary information to help clarify whether these planets are habitable.

Item Type:Report or Paper (White Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Currie, Thayne0000-0002-7405-3119
Guyon, Olivier0000-0002-1097-9908
Marois, Christian0000-0002-4164-4182
Marley, Mark S.0000-0002-5251-2943
Mawet, Dimitri0000-0002-8895-4735
McElwain, Michael0000-0003-0241-8956
Kuchner, Marc J.0000-0002-2387-5489
Meyer, Michael R.0000-0003-1227-3084
Ammons, S. Mark0000-0001-5172-7902
Girard, Julien0000-0001-8627-0404
Hasegawa, Yasuhiro0000-0002-9017-3663
López-Morales, Mercedes0000-0003-3204-8183
Lyra, Wladimir0000-0002-3768-7542
Mennesson, Bertrand0000-0003-4205-4800
Packham, Chris0000-0001-7827-5758
Group:Astronomy Department
Series Name:Astro2020 Science White Paper
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190617-154836647
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:96488
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Jun 2019 22:57
Last Modified:27 Nov 2019 19:04

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