British Scientists Playing European Space Agency’s Leadership to Explore Exoplanets’ Atmospheres


British scientists playing European Space Agency’s leadership, with intention to explore atmospheres on the planets out of our solar system.

The Science Programme Committee has set the mission – ‘Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large survey (ARIEL)’ on Tuesday with the label of upcoming science mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), for which the leadership will be rolled by the research team of United Kingdom.

Chief Executive at the United Kingdom Space Agency, Dr. Graham Turnock said in a statement that, “It is thanks to the world-leading skills of our innovative space community that a UK-led consortium has been chosen to take forward the next ESA science mission. This demonstrates what a vital role we continue to play in European collaboration on research in space. The ARIEL mission is a prime example of the scientific innovation underpinning the wider economy.”

Giovanna Tinetti, an astrophysicist from the University College London will be leading the venture scientifically, in which the mission – ARIEL will perform the first until the date, extensive research of the planets beyond the solar system that more specifically is dedicated to study the atmospheres over there.

“The issue with all of these planet experiments is that the signals you are looking for are so incredibly small that any systematics in the instrument itself will dominate the signal,” said a member of Plato team, Dr Don Pollaco from the Warwick University, UK, “And the systematics is often associated with bits that move. So the great thing about Ariel is that it is fixed-format – nothing changes.”