The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx) is a concept for a mission to directly image planetary systems around Sun-like stars. HabEx will be sensitive to all types of planets; however its main goal is, for the first time, to directly image Earth-like exoplanets, and characterize their atmospheric content. By measuring the spectra of these planets, HabEx will search for signatures of habitability such as water, and be sensitive to gases in the atmosphere possibility indicative of biological activity, such as oxygen or ozone.
In addition to the search for life on Earth-like exoplanets, HabEx will enable a broad range of general astrophysics, from studying the earliest epochs of the history of the Universe, to understanding the life cycle and deaths of the most massive stars, which ultimately supply the elements that are needed to support life as we know it. These studies will be enabled by the same technology that will allow HabEx to study Earth-like planets: a large, stable telescope in space with unprecedented resolution that is sensitive to ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared photons. Furthermore, the HabEx concept is particularly compelling, as it is ripe for development, being both technologically and scientifically implementable in the next decade.
The HabEx concept is one of four mission concepts currently being studied in preparation for the 2020 Astrophysics Decadal Survey. The study is being undertaken by a Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) comprised of experts within the community and is being managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The study is due to conclude in 2019.
A coronagraph is a tiny dot that sits inside the telescope and blocks light from the star from reaching the detectors.
A starshade is a large petal shaped vehicle, separate from the telescope, which blocks light from the star before it enters the telescope.
12 p.m. PT, Sep 21, 2017
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12 p.m. PT, Aug. 14, 2017
1) Logistics, format, and style guidelines for writing the interim report
12 p.m. PT, Aug. 7, 2017
1) Fleshing out the “deep dive” science case - All
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Bertrand Mennesson: Bertrand.Mennesson@jpl.nasa.gov