The CHaracterizing ExoPlanets Satellite will be the first mission dedicated to search for transits by means of ultrahigh precision photometry on bright stars already known to host planets. By being able to point at nearly any location on the sky, it will provide the unique capability of determining accurate radii for a subset of those planets for which the mass has already been estimated from ground-based spectroscopic surveys. It will also provide precision radii for new planets discovered by the next generation ground-based transits surveys (Neptune-size and smaller). CHEOPS is expected to be launched in 2017.
CHEOPS will be available to the UK community through our ESA subscription. The purpose of this meeting is to describe the concept
and capabilities of CHEOPS and discuss future opportunites for British industry and Scientists.
The meeting will start with coffee at 10:30am for an 11am start, and will be held in the Department of Physics, Warwick University in the Physical Sciences Building room number PS.128 and will be signposted. We expect the meeting will finish around 4-4:30pm. A draft of the programme is available.
Knowing where to look and at what time to observe makes CHEOPS the most efficient instrument to search for shallow transits and to determine accurate radii for planets in the Super-Earth to Neptune mass range.
The main science goals of the CHEOPS mission will be to study the structure of exoplanets with radii typically ranging from 1-6 REarth orbiting bright stars. With an accurate knowledge of masses and radii for an unprecedented sample of planets, CHEOPS will set new constraints on the structure and hence on the formation and evolution of planets in this mass range. In particular, CHEOPS will:
- Determine the mass-radius relation for low-mass planets
- Identify planets with significant atmospheres as a function of their mass, distance to the star, and stellar parameters
- Place constraints on possible planet migration scenarios for planets where the clear presence of a massive gaseous envelope cannot be discerned
- Probe the atmosphere of known Hot Jupiter in order to study their thermal structure
- Provide unique targets for future ground- (e.g. E-ELT) and space-based (e.g. JWST, EChO) facilities with spectroscopic capabilities
- Offer up to 10% of open time to the community to be allocated through competitive scientific review.
Don Pollacco and Francesca Faedi