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Astro2020 Science White Paper: Toward Finding Earth 2.0: Masses and Orbits of Small Planets with Extreme Radial Velocity Precision

Ciardi, David R. and Bean, Jacob and Burt, Jennifer and Dragomir, Diana and Gaidos, Eric and Johnson, Marshall C. and Kempton, Eliza and Konopacky, Quinn and Meyer, Michael and Teske, Johanna and Weiss, Lauren and Zhou, George (2019) Astro2020 Science White Paper: Toward Finding Earth 2.0: Masses and Orbits of Small Planets with Extreme Radial Velocity Precision. Astro2020 Science White Paper, . (Unpublished)

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Having discovered that Earth-sized planets are common, we are now embarking on a journey to determine if Earth-like planets are also common. Finding Earth-like planets is one of the most compelling endeavors of the 21st century - leading us toward finally answering the question: Are we alone? To achieve this forward-looking goal, we must determine the masses of the planets; the sizes of the planets, by themselves, are not sufficient for the determination of the bulk and atmospheric compositions. Masses, coupled with the radii, are crucial constraints on the bulk composition and interior structure of the planets and the composition of their atmospheres, including the search for biosignatures. Precision radial velocity is the most viable technique for providing essential mass and orbit information for spectroscopy of other Earths. The development of high quality precision radial velocity instruments coupled to the building of the large telescope facilities like TMT and GMT or space-based platforms like EarthFinder can enable very high spectral resolution observations with extremely precise radial velocities on minute timescales to allow for the modeling and removal of radial velocity jitter. Over the next decade, the legacy of exoplanet astrophysics can be cemented firmly as part of humankind's quest in finding the next Earth - but only if we can measure the masses and orbits of Earth-sized planets in habitable zone orbits around Sun-like stars.

Item Type:Report or Paper (White Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Ciardi, David R.0000-0002-5741-3047
Bean, Jacob0000-0003-4733-6532
Burt, Jennifer0000-0002-0040-6815
Dragomir, Diana0000-0003-2313-467X
Gaidos, Eric0000-0002-5258-6846
Johnson, Marshall C.0000-0002-5099-8185
Kempton, Eliza0000-0002-1337-9051
Konopacky, Quinn0000-0002-9936-6285
Meyer, Michael0000-0003-1227-3084
Weiss, Lauren0000-0002-3725-3058
Zhou, George0000-0002-4891-3517
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Series Name:Astro2020 Science White Paper
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190618-153409813
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:96506
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:18 Jun 2019 22:44
Last Modified:03 Nov 2019 19:53

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