JPL Wants To FINESSE Info From Exoplanets
While huge discoveries have been made by both ground- and space-based telescopes like Kepler and Corot over the past several years, identifying thousands of exoplanetary candidates, FINESSE will be the first mission dedicated to finding out what the atmospheres are like on worlds outside our solar system.
Using a sensitive spectrograph covering 0.7-5.0 microns, FINESSE will be able to identify molecular bands of water, methane, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and other molecules. Its sensitivity and stability will even allow it to detect the differences between an exoplanet’s day and night side, allowing wind flow and weather to be determined.
Touted as “the next step” in exoplanetary exploration, FINESSE is proposed for launch in October 2016.
Learn more at JPL’s FINESSE site: http://finesse.jpl.nasa.gov/