About

ARIEL (Atmospheric Remote-sensing Exoplanet Large-survey) is one of the three candidate missions selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) for its next medium-class science mission due for launch in 2026. The goal of the ARIEL mission is to investigate the atmospheres of several hundreds planets orbiting distant stars in order to address the fundamental questions on how planetary systems form and evolve.

During its four-year mission ARIEL will observe hundreds of exoplanets (500-1000) ranging from Jupiter- and Neptune-size down to super-Earth and Earth-size in the visible and the infrared with its meter-class telescope. The analysis of ARIEL spectra and photometric data will allow to extract the chemical fingerprints of gases and condensates in the planets’ atmospheres, including the elemental composition for the most favorable targets. It will also enable the study of thermal and scattering properties of the atmosphere as the planet orbit around the star.

More information about the progress of the ARIEL Phase A can be found on the ESA website.

Publications

ARIEL ASSESSMENT STUDY REPORT:
March 2017
ARIEL SCIENTIFIC PROPOSAL & OUTCOME OF ESA CDF STUDY:
Link to ESA website
ARIEL YELLOW BOOK TECHNICAL NOTES:
Link to all Technical Notes
PUBLICATIONS ABOUT ARIEL:
  • Tinetti G. et al., The science of ARIEL, Proc. SPIE 9904, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 99041X (July 29, 2016); doi:10.1117/12.2232370

  • Puig L.; Pilbratt G. L.; A. Heske; I. Escudero Sanz; Crouzet P. E., ARIEL: an ESA M4 mission candidate, Proc. SPIE 9904, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 99041W (29 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2230964 Continue reading “Publications”

Press Releases

ARIEL Press Release (01/2015)

An ambitious European mission is being planned to answer fundamental questions about how planetary systems form and evolve. ARIEL will investigate the atmospheres of several hundreds planets orbiting distant stars. It is one of three candidate missions selected last month by the European Space Agency (ESA) for its next medium class science mission, due for launch in 2026. The ARIEL mission concept has been developed by a consortium of more than 50 institutes from 12 countries, including UK, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal. The mission will be presented today at the Pathways 2015 conference in Bern, Switzerland, by ARIEL’s Principal Investigator, Prof Giovanna Tinetti of UCL.

“The essential nature of exoplanets is still something of a mystery to us: despite finding nearly 2000 exoplanets we haven’t yet found any discernible pattern linking the presence, size or orbital parameters of a planet to what its parent star is like,” said Tinetti. “If we are going to answer questions, such as how is the chemistry of a planet linked to the environment in which it forms, or is its birth and evolution driven by its host star, we need to study a statistically large sample of exoplanets. This is what ARIEL is designed to do.” Continue reading “Press Releases”

Facts & Figures

Elliptical primary mirror: 1.1 x 0.7 metres
Mission lifetime: 4 years
Payload mass: ~300 kg
Dry mass: ~950 kg
Launch mass: ~1200kg
Destination: L2
Cost: Launch vehicle: Ariane 6-2

The ARIEL mission concept has been developed by a consortium of more than 50 institutes from 12 European countries, which include the UK, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Ireland and Portugal.

Contact

 SCIENCE CONTACT

Prof Giovanna Tinetti
University College London
+44 (0)7912509617
g.tinetti@ucl.ac.uk

PAYLOAD CONSORTIUM CONTACT
Paul Eccleston, Chief Engineer
ARIEL Project Manager
RAL Space, Science and Technology Facilities Council
+44 (0)1235 446366
paul.eccleston@stfc.ac.uk

MEDIA CONTACT

Ms Anita Heward
ARIEL Press Officer
+44 (0)7756 034 243
ucaparh@live.ucl.ac.uk

For general enquiries, please use the contact form below: