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LATEST NEWS:

Winners announced for the Ariel Data Challenge 2021!

Press release here

A new Ariel Machine Learning Data Challenge was launched on April 1st 2021: Machine vs Stellar and Instrument Noise

https://www.ariel-datachallenge.space

The results were discussed at the Machine Learning and Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases ECML PKDD 2021.

ESA’s exoplanet mission Ariel, scheduled for launch in 2029, has moved from study to implementation phase!

Ariel press release here
ESA announcement here

Ariel, the Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey, was selected as the fourth medium-class mission in ESA’s Cosmic Vision programme. During its 4-year mission, Ariel will study what exoplanets are made of, how they formed and how they evolve, by surveying a diverse sample of about 1000 extrasolar planets, simultaneously in visible and infrared wavelengths. It is the first mission dedicated to measuring the chemical composition and thermal structures of hundreds of transiting exoplanets, enabling planetary science far beyond the boundaries of the Solar System.

The Ariel mission page on ESA’s website can be accessed here.

See Ariel videos in different languages – try clicking a flag!

Austria
France
Japan
Portugal
Czech Republic
Hungary
Netherlands
Spain
Estonia
Italy
Poland
United States

Publications

ARIEL DEFINITION STUDY REPORT:
November 2020: Link to ESA document ; arxiv:2104.04824
ARIEL ASSESSMENT STUDY REPORT:
March 2017
ARIEL YELLOW BOOK TECHNICAL NOTES:
Link to all Technical Notes
ARIEL SCIENTIFIC PROPOSAL & OUTCOME OF ESA CDF STUDY:
Link to ESA website

Ariel Special Issue in Experimental Astronomy: coming soon!

Barnes, J.R. et al. Exoplanet mass estimation for a sample of targets for the Ariel mission; doi: 10.1007/s10686-021-09758-0

Barstow, J. et al. A retrieval challenge exercise for the Ariel mission;

Boldizsár, G. I. et al., Ancillary science with Ariel: Feasibility and scientific potential of young stellar object observations, https://arxiv.org/abs/2103.09601.

Borsato L. et al., Exploiting the transit timing capabilities of Ariel; doi: 10.1007/s10686-021-09737-5 .

Brucalassi, A. et al. Determination of stellar parameters for Ariel targets: a comparison analysis between different spectroscopic methods; DOI:10.1007/s10686-020-09695-4.

Changeat, Q., et al. Disentangling Atmospheric Compositions of K2-18 b with Next Generation Facilities. arXiv:2003.01486.

Charnay, B. et al. A survey of exoplanet phase curves with Ariel; doi: 10.1007/s10686-021-09715-x

Chioetto, P . et al. Qualification of the thermal stabilization, polishing and coating procedures for the aluminum telescope mirrors of the Ariel mission;

Danielski, C. et al. The homogeneous characterisation of Ariel host stars; doi: 10.1007/s10686-021-09765-1

Demangeon, O. et al. Need, Scale and Feasibility of an Ariel radial velocity campaign;

Encrenaz, T. et al. Observability of temperate exoplanets with Ariel; in press

Ferus M. et al. Ariel – a window to the origin of life on early Earth?, doi: 10.1007/s10686-020-09681-w

Focardi, M. et al. The Ariel Instrument Control Unit its role within the Payload and B1 Phase design; doi: 10.1007/s10686-020-09694-5.

Garai, Z. et al. Grazing, non-transiting disintegrating exoplanets observed with the planned Ariel space observatory A case study using Kepler-1520b; doi: 10.1007/s10686-021-09750-8

Garcia Perez, A. et al. Thermoelastic evaluation of the Payload Module of the Ariel mission;
doi: 10.1007/s10686-021-09704-0.

Guilluy, G. et al. On The Synergy Between Ariel and Ground-Based High-Resolution Spectroscopy; 

Gyürüs, B. et al. Ancillary science with ARIEL: feasibility and scientific potential of young stellar object observations; doi:10.1007/s10686-021-09742-8

Haswell, C. A. Extended Use of the Ariel Core Survey Data;

Helled, R. et al. Ariel Planetary Interiors White Paper; doi: 10.1007/s10686-021-09739-3

Ito, Y. et al. Detectability of mineral atmospheres with Ariel; doi:10.1007/s10686-020-09693-6

Kokori A. et al. ExoClock Project: An open platform for monitoring the ephemerides of Ariel targets with contributions from the public; doi:10.1007/s10686-020-09696-3

Morales, J.C. et al. Ariel scheduling using Artificial Intelligence;

Morello, G. et al. The Ariel 0.6 – 7.8 μm stellar limb- darkening coefficients; doi:10.1007/s10686-021-09740-w

Morgante, G. et al. The thermal architecture of the ESA Ariel payload at the end of Phase B1;

Moses, J.I. et al. Chemical variation with altitude and longitude on exo-Neptunes: Predictions for Ariel phase- curve observations; doi:10.1007/s10686-021-09749-1.

Pearson C. et al. The Ariel Ground Segment and Instrument Operations Science Data Centre; doi: 10.1007/s10686-020-09691-8

Seli, B. et al. Stellar flares with Ariel;

Szabó, G. et al. High-precision photometry with Ariel; doi: 10.1007/s10686-021-09777-x

Turrini, D. et al. Exploring the link between star and planetary formation with Ariel; in press, arXiv:2108.11869

Peer reviewed publications about Ariel

Turrini D. et al. Tracing the formation history of giant planets in protoplanetary disks with Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Sulphur , ApJ, 909, 40, 2021.

Cracchiolo G., Micela, G.; Morello, G.; Peres, G.; Correcting the effect of stellar spots on ARIEL transmission spectra II. The limb darkening effect; MNRAS, 2021; doi:10.1093/mnras/stab2509

Cracchiolo, G.; Micela, G.; Peres, G.; Correcting the effect of stellar spots on ARIEL transmission spectra; MNRAS, 2021; dot:10.1093/mnras/staa3621

Mugnai, L. V.; Pascale, E.; Edwards, B.; Papageorgiou, A.; Sarkar, S.; ArielRad: the Ariel radiometric model; Experimental Astronomy, 50, 303, 2020.

Sarkar S., E. Pascale, A. Papageorgiou, L. Johnson, I. Waldmann, ExoSim: the Exoplanet Observation Simulator, Experimental Astronomy, 2020, arXiv:2002.03739, DOI:10.1007/s10686-020-09690-9.

Nikolaou N. et al. Lessons Learned from the 1st ARIEL Machine Learning Challenge: Correcting Transiting Exoplanet Light Curves for Stellar Spots , AJ, 2021. 

Yip, Hou K. et al., Peeking inside the Black Box: Interpreting Deep Learning Models for Exoplanet Atmospheric Retrievals; ApJ, 2021.

Edwards B. N. et al, Original Research By Young Twinkle Students (ORBYTS): Ephemeris Refinement of Transiting Exoplanets , MNRAS, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/staa1245.

Edwards B. N. et al., Original Research by Young Twinkle Students (Orbyts): Ephemeris Refinement of Transiting Exoplanets II , Research Notes of the AAS, 4, 7, 109, 2020.

Puig. L. et al.; The ESA Ariel mission is ready for implementation, SPIE, 11443, 1144310, https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2561273

Mösenlechner, G. et al.; Architectural design of the ARIEL FGS software, SPIE, 11452, 114521F, 2021; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2562201.

Crouzet P. E. et al., Impact of proton radiation on the Ariel AIRS CH1 HAWAII-1RG MWIR detector, SPIE, 11454, 114540A, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2561267.

Chioetto P. et al., The primary mirror of the Ariel mission: cryotesting of aluminum mirror samples with protected silver coating, SPIE, 11451, 114511A, 2020.

Naponiello L. et al., The role of the instrument control unit within the ARIEL Payload and its current design, SPIE, 11443, 114434P, 2020.

Anisman, L. O. et al. WASP-117 b: An Eccentric Hot Saturn as a Future Complex Chemistry Laboratory, AJ, 160, 233, 2020.

Bourgalais, J., Carrasco, N., et al. Ions in the Thermosphere of Exoplanets: Observable Constraints Revealed by Innovative Laboratory Experiments. AJ, 895, 77, 2020.

Guilluy, G. et al., ARES IV: Probing the Atmospheres of the Two Warm Small Planets HD 106315c and HD 3167c with the HST/WFC3 Camera; AJ, 161, 19, 2021.

Pluriel, W.; et al., ARES. III. Unveiling the Two Faces of KELT-7 b with HST WFC3 ,  AJ, 160, 112, 2020.

Skaf N. et al., ARES II: Characterising the Hot Jupiters WASP-127 b, WASP-79 b and WASP-62 b with HST, AJ, 160, 109, 2020.

Edwards B. N. et al., ARES I: WASP-76 b, A Tale of Two HST Spectra, AJ, 160, 8; 2020.

Changeat Q., Al-Refaie A., Mugnai L.V., Edwards B., Waldmann I. P., Pascale E., Tinetti G. (2020), Alfnoor: A Retrieval Simulation of the Ariel Target List, The Astronomical Journal, 160, 80, 2020.

Changeat Q., Keyte L., Waldmann I. P., Tinetti G. (2020), Impact of planetary mass uncertainties on exoplanet atmospheric retrievals, The Astrophysical Journal, 896, 107, 2020.

Changeat Q., B. Edwards, I. P. Waldmann, and G. Tinetti, Toward a More Complex Description of Chemical Profiles in Exoplanet Retrievals: A Two-layer Parameterization, The Astrophysical Journal, 886 39, 2019.

Edwards, B. N.; L. Mugnai, G. Tinetti, E. Pascale, and S. Sarkar (2019) An Updated Study of Potential Targets for Ariel, AJ, 157 242.

Dransfield, G.; Triaud, A. H. M. J., Colour-magnitude diagrams of transiting exoplanets – III. A public code, nine strange planets, and the role of phosphine, MNRAS, 499, 505, 2020.

Zellem R. et al., Constraining Exoplanet Metallicities and Aerosols with the Contribution to ARIEL Spectroscopy of Exoplanets (CASE), PASP, 131, 094401, 2019.

Middleton K. F. et al., An integrated payload design for the atmospheric remote-sensing infrared exoplanet large-survey (ARIEL): results from phase A and forward look to phase B1, SPIE, 11180, 1118036, 2019.

Tinetti, G., Drossart, P., Eccleston, P. et al., A chemical survey of exoplanets with ARIEL, Exp Astron (2018) 46: 135. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10686-018-9598-x

more publications

Press Releases

ariel_space_high_res
Artist’s impression of Ariel on its way to Lagrange Point 2 (L2). Here, the spacecraft is shielded from the Sun and has a clear view of the whole sky. Image Credit: ESA/STFC RAL Space/UCL/Europlanet-Science Office

Ariel Press Release (09/2021) – Winners announced for the Ariel Data Challenge!

Artificial intelligence (AI) experts from around the world have been competing for the opportunity to help astronomers to explore planets in our local galactic neighbourhood.

The European Space Agency’s Ariel telescope, which launches in 2029, will study the atmospheres of around 1000 planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets.

Observing faint signals to measure the make-up of exoplanet atmospheres is incredibly challenging and is made even more so by other signals the instrument may pick up. The effect of star activity, like sun spots, and even the noise of the spacecraft itself can obscure the information scientists receive from Ariel.

The Ariel Machine Learning Data Challenge, sponsored by Spaceflux Ltd, was set to harness the expertise of the artificial intelligence community to help disentangle this unwanted noise from the light filtering through exoplanet atmospheres. Over 110 teams from around the world participated with 35 teams submitting viable solutions. The teams represented a mix of academia and AI companies.

The competition winners, ML Analytics, an artificial intelligence company in Portugal, and a team from TU Dortmund University in Germany were able to achieve highly accurate solutions for even the most difficult to observe planets.

To continue reading the full press release, follow this link:
Winners announced for the machine vs stellar and instrument noise data challenge

Credit: ESA/STFC RAL Space/UCL/UK Space Agency/ ATG Medialab

Ariel Press Release (11/2020) – The European Space Agency formally adopts Ariel, the exoplanet explorer

The European Space Agency (ESA) have formally adopted Ariel, the first mission dedicated to study the nature, formation and evolution of exoplanets.

– Ariel has passed major feasibility reviews and has been formally adopted into the program of future missions for implementation.
– It will survey about 1000 planets outside our solar system during its lifetime.
– Ariel will unveil the nature, formation and evolution of a large and assorted sample of planets around different types of stars in our galaxy.

To continue reading the full press release, follow this link:
The European Space Agency formally adopts Ariel, the exoplanet explorer

Artist’s rendering of the Ariel Spacecraft. Credit: Ariel/Science Office

 Ariel Press Release (04/2019) – Ariel Data Challenge Series launched to build global community for exoplanet data solutions

Ariel, a mission to make the first large-scale survey of exoplanet atmospheres, has launched a global competition series to find innovative solutions for the interpretation and analysis of exoplanet data. The first Ariel Data Challenge invites professional and amateur data scientists around the world to use Machine Learning (ML) to remove noise from exoplanet observations caused by starspots and by instrumentation.

To continue reading the full press release, follow this link:
Ariel Data Challenge Launch 2019

The Ariel Data Challenge Series 2019. Credit: ARIEL Consortium

Ariel Press Release (03/2018) –
Ariel selected as ESA’s next medium-class science mission

Ariel, a mission to answer fundamental questions about how planetary systems form and evolve, has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) as its next medium-class science mission, due for launch in 2028. During a 4-year mission, Ariel will observe 1000 planets orbiting distant stars and make the first large-scale survey of the chemistry of exoplanet atmospheres. ESA’s Science Programme Committee announced the selection of Ariel from three candidate missions on 21st March 2018.

To continue reading the full press release, follow this link:
Ariel Selection Press Release UK 2018

 

Ariel Press Release (03/2018) –
Ariel selected as ESA’s next medium-class science mission

Ariel, a mission to answer fundamental questions about how planetary systems form and evolve, has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) as its next medium-class science mission, due for launch in 2028. During a 4-year mission, Ariel will observe 1000 planets orbiting distant stars and make the first large-scale survey of the chemistry of exoplanet atmospheres. ESA’s Science Programme Committee announced the selection of Ariel from three candidate missions on 21st March 2018.

To continue reading the full press release, follow this link:
Ariel Selection Press Release UK 2018

Image:
Ariel will be placed in orbit around the Lagrange Point 2 (L2), a gravitational balance point 1.5 million kilometres beyond the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Image Credit: ESA/STFC RAL Space/UCL/Europlanet-Science Office

ariel_lagrange_points_high_res


Ariel Press Release (01/2015) –
Mission Announcement

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: at least 4 years in orbit 
Payload mass / launch mass: ~500 kg / ~ 1500kg
Instrumentation: 3 photometric channels and 3 spectrometers covering continuously from 0.5 to 7.8 microns in wavelength
Launch date: 2029
Destination: Sun – Earth Lagrange Point 2 (L2)
Launch vehicle: Ariane 6-2. Launch shared with Comet Interceptor.

The Ariel mission payload is developed by a consortium of more than 50 institutes from 17 ESA countries – which include the UK, France, Italy, Poland, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Portugal, Germany, Estonia – plus a NASA contribution.

Contact

SCIENCE CONTACT

Prof. Giovanna Tinetti
Ariel Principal Investigator
UCL Centre for Space Exochemistry Data – Director
+44 (0)7912509617 l +44 (0)1235 567353
g.tinetti@ucl.ac.uk

PAYLOAD CONSORTIUM CONTACT

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

ADMINISTRATOR CONTACT

Emma Dunford
Ariel Administrator
UCL Centre for Space Exochemistry Data – Operations Administrator
e.dunford@ucl.ac.uk

COMMS & MEDIA CONTACT

Madeleine Russell
Ariel Consortium Communications Lead and RAL Space Communications Manager
madeleine.russell@stfc.ac.uk

Bex Coates
Ariel Communications & Media
UCL Centre for Space Exochemistry Data
r.l.coates@ucl.ac.uk
 
 

For general enquiries, please use the contact form below: