Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



EXO WORLDS
FINESSE Mission to Investigate Atmospheres of Hundreds of Alien Worlds
by Tomasz Nowakowski for AstroWatch
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Sep 05, 2017


illustration only

One of NASA's proposed missions, known as the Fast INfrared Exoplanet Spectroscopy Survey Explorer (FINESSE) could greatly improve our understanding of extrasolar worlds. If selected for development, the spacecraft will investigate at least 500 exoplanet atmospheres, providing detailed information about climate processes on distant alien planets.

FINESSE has been recently chosen by NASA for concept studies and evaluations. It is one of the agency's six astrophysics Explorers Program proposals that could be selected by 2019 to proceed with construction and launch.

The mission's main objective is to study the processes that govern planet formation and global climate. It will investigate the mechanisms that establish atmospheric chemical composition and shape atmospheric evolution.

"FINESSE will spectroscopically observe the atmospheres of many hundreds of transiting exoplanets to measure their molecular abundances and thermal profiles," Robert Zellem, FINESSE science team member at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), told Astrowatch.net.

In order to conduct the planned studies, FINESSE will use the transit method. It will measure how a planet's atmosphere absorbs light from its host star as a function of wavelength. This will allow to infer the molecules in the planet's atmosphere.

"By doing this for hundreds of planets, FINESSE will determine how planets form and the crucial factors that establish planetary climate," Zellem said.

These observations will require a proper imaging system. That is why the FINESSE spacecraft will be equipped in a telescope with a 75-centimeter (29.5-inch) primary mirror and a spectrometer that will observe planets in the visible and infrared wavelengths (from 0.5 to 5 microns).

According to Zellem, wide spectral coverage will enable FINESSE to measure the abundances of molecules such as water, methane, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide as well as look for the presence of clouds and hazes.

Data collected by the spacecraft are expected to provide important information that could improve our knowledge about various exoplanets, from rocky terrestrial planets to gas giants like Jupiter.

FINESSE could help us discover what these alien worlds are like, determining what makes them they way they are, and allowing this knowledge to be applied in the broader planetary context, including the search for life outside of our Solar System.

If selected for the development, FINESSE is targeted for the launch around 2023. Zellem hopes that during its operational lifetime of two years it will carry out important observations of even more than 1,000 extrasolar worlds.

"FINESSE has the capability in its two year mission to observe the atmospheres of over 1000 transiting exoplanets," he concluded.

+ More about FINESSE here

EXO WORLDS
NASA Team Passes Major Technological Milestone for Characterizing Exoplanets
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Sep 11, 2017
NASA researchers say they have passed a major milestone in their quest to mature more powerful tools for directly detecting and analyzing the atmospheres of giant planets outside the solar system - one of the observational goals of NASA's proposed Wide-Field Infrared Space Telescope, also known as WFIRST. In tests conducted at the High-Contrast Imaging Testbed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Labo ... read more

Related Links
AstroWatch
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science
Life Beyond Earth


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

EXO WORLDS
Aussie astronaut calls for establishment of national space agency

NASA's Robotic 'Sniffer' Confirms Space Station Leak, Repair

Australia to create national space agency

Space Cooperation Between China, Russia Needs Long-Term Mechanism

EXO WORLDS
What looks good on paper may look good in space

ISRO to resume satellite launches by December

Demonstrator 3 linear aerospike ready to start tests

Mechanisms are Critical to Space Vehicle Flight Success

EXO WORLDS
HIAD heat shield material feels the burn during arc jet testing

Six emerge from 8-mo Mars experiment in Hawaii dome

Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars

More evidence of water on Mars

EXO WORLDS
Work on China's mission to Mars 'well underway'

Chinese company eyes development of reusable launch vehicle

Mars probe to carry 13 types of payload on 2020 mission

China's cargo spacecraft separates from Tiangong-2 space lab

EXO WORLDS
Thomas calls for new comprehensive Australian Space Agency at IAC address

Lockheed Martin introduces new satellite bus lineup

Bulgaria Sat Wins "Newcomer Satellite Operator of the Year" for 2017

Transitional FSS industry adapting, innovating to spur recovery

EXO WORLDS
Positive, negative or neutral, it all matters: NASA explains space radiation

A dream of foam

Space radiation is risky business for the human body

Corrosion in real time

EXO WORLDS
NASA's Hubble captures blistering pitch-black planet

KFU astronomers discovered an exoplanet together with Turkish and Japanese colleagues

FINESSE Mission to Investigate Atmospheres of Hundreds of Alien Worlds

Scientists propose new concept of terrestrial planet formation

EXO WORLDS
Global Aerospace Corporation to present Pluto lander concept to NASA

Pluto features given first official names

Hibernation Over, New Horizons Continues Kuiper Belt Cruise

Jupiter's Auroras Present a Powerful Mystery




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement