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

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