The American space agency NASA will be collaborating with the European Space Agency (ESA) to do an Exoplanetic Atmospheric Research. Exoplanets are those planets which orbit around a star beyond our Sun.
NASA and ESA are going to work on a very important space mission. NASA will provide an instrument, called the Contribution to ARIEL Spectroscopy of Exoplanets or CASE, which adds scientific capabilities to ESA’s (the European Space Agency’s) Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey, or ARIEL, mission.
The ARIEL spacecraft is expected to be launched around 2028. The CASE instrument will be managed by NASA.
ARIEL mission will enable ESA to observe the chemical fingerprints of a planet’s atmosphere in the light of its star. For the underlying purpose, the spacecraft will observe starlight streaming through the atmospheres of planets as they pass in front of their stars.
Such fingerprints will help scientists to study the compositions, temperatures, and chemical processes in the atmospheres of the planets.
Chemical fingerprints of exoplanet atmospheres are extremely faint and this identifying them is a huge challenge for astronomers. It requires a telescope to stare at an individual star for a lengthy period of time.
“I am thrilled that NASA will partner with ESA in this historic mission to push the envelope in our understanding of what the atmospheres of exoplanets are made of, and how these planets form and evolve,” said Thomas Zurbuchen.
Thomas Zurbuchen is associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
Thomas further said, “The more information we have about exoplanets, the closer we get to understanding the origins of our solar system, and advancing our search for Earth-like planets elsewhere”.