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Directly Imaging Exoplanets in Polarized Light with ELTs
ELTs are expected to reach the sensitivities needed to detect and characterize habitable zone earth-like planets in reflected light, enabling the search for biosignatures. In this context, polarimetry is poised to play a critical role in both the detection and characterization of planets. The primary goal of the proposed workshop is to assemble a worldwide group of polarimetry experts in order to identify groundbreaking polarimetric science programs that will be enabled by ELTs, diagnose the expected challenges associated with exoplanet polarimetry with ELTS, and plan pathways to overcome them.
The workshop will bring together atmospheric modelers, observers and instrument builders in order to pinpoint the optimal wavelength ranges, observing strategies and instrument concepts that will maximize the science return of the next generation of telescopes. Our high-level challenge is to determine how polarimetry can best answer questions such as those related to the properties (e.g. compositions, sizes and pressure levels) of atmospheric hazes in exoplanets and the prevalence of liquid water on exo-Earths.
Workshop participants will connect these driving science motives to instrument requirements (e.g. ideal wavelengths and spectral resolutions) and explore synergies with other observational methods such as multi-wavelength photometry and spectroscopy. Further, the workshop will build the interdisciplinary collaborations needed to quantitatively assess the potential for polarimetric differential imaging (PDI) to detect planets that will be invisible to other differential imaging techniques.
Polarimetry is poised to play a critical role in the detection and characterization of exoplanets in the era of ELTs.This workshop will bring together atmospheric modelers, observers, and instrument builders to pinpoint observing strategies, and instrumentation that will maximize our ability to characterize exoplanet atmospheres and surfaces with 30-m class telescopes.