SPICES: spectro-polarimetric imaging and characterization of exoplanetary systems. From planetary disks to nearby Super Earths


SPICES (Spectro-Polarimetric Imaging and Characterization of Exoplanetary Systems) is a five-year M-class mission proposed to ESA Cosmic Vision. Its purpose is to image and characterize long-period extrasolar planets and circumstellar disks in the visible (450-900 nm) at a spectral resolution of about 40 using both spectroscopy and polarimetry. By 2020/2022, present and near-term instruments will have found several tens of planets that SPICES will be able to observe and study in detail. Equipped with a 1.5 m telescope, SPICES can preferentially access exoplanets located at several AUs (0.5-10 AU) from nearby stars (<25 pc) with masses ranging from a few Jupiter masses to Super Earths (ensuremath∼2 Earth radii, ensuremath∼10 M$_ensuremathøplus$) as well as circumstellar disks as faint as a few times the zodiacal light in the Solar System.

Experimental Astronomy