Detecting life outside our solar system with a large high-contrast-imaging mission

Ignas A. G. Snellen*, F. Snik, M. Kenworthy, S. Albrecht, G. Anglada-Escudé, I. Baraffe, P. Baudoz, W. Benz, J.-L. Beuzit, B. Biller, J. L. Birkby, A. Boccaletti, R. van Boekel, J. de Boer, Matteo Brogi, L. Buchhave, L. Carone, M. Claire, R. Claudi, B.-O. DemoryJ.-M. Désert, S. Desidera, B. S. Gaudi, R. Gratton, M. Gillon, J. L. Grenfell, O. Guyon, T. Henning, S. Hinkley, E. Huby, M. Janson, C. Helling, K. Heng, M. Kasper, C. U. Keller, O. Krause, L. Kreidberg, N. Madhusudhan, A.-M. Lagrange, R. Launhardt, T. M. Lenton, M. Lopez-Puertas, A.-L. Maire, N. Mayne, V. Meadows, B. Mennesson, G. Micela, Y. Miguel, J. Milli, M. Min, E. de Mooij, D. Mouillet, M. N’Diaye, V. D’Orazi, E. Palle, I. Pagano, G. Piotto, D. Queloz, H. Rauer, I. Ribas, G. Ruane, F. Selsis, A. Sozzetti, D. Stam, C.C. Stark, A. Vigan, Pieter de Visser

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

In this White Paper, which was submitted in response to the European Space Agency (ESA) Voyage 2050 Call, we recommend the ESA plays a proactive role in developing a global collaborative effort to construct a large high-contrast imaging space telescope, e.g. as currently under study by NASA. Such a mission will be needed to characterize a sizable sample of temperate Earth-like planets in the habitable zones of nearby Sun-like stars and to search for extraterrestrial biological activity. We provide an overview of relevant European expertise, and advocate ESA to start a technology development program towards detecting life outside the Solar System.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1237-1274
Number of pages38
JournalExperimental Astronomy
Volume54
Early online date15 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

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