Please note that this session was withdrawn and is no longer available in the respective programme. This withdrawal might have been the result of a merge with another session.
Direct Imaging of Exoplanets
Direct imaging of exoplanets has started to provide important clues about the presence of long period planetary mass objects and hence nicely complements the other, very successful methods of detection (RV, transit photometry). Moreover, the observation of the precious planetary photons opens a pathway for atmospheric characterization and eventually surface characterization.
A number of important studies (discoveries, and characterization) were already possible with current instruments from ground and space based telescopes. Although these objects are rare they already triggered many publications as they challenge models of planet formation as well as evolution models.
In the very near future specialized instruments, the so-called "planet finders", will be installed on large 8-m class telescopes and operated at near IR (1 - 2.5 microns). Starting in 2013, large surveys of bright, nearby and young stars are expected to provide many more detections of giant planets (>1Mj) at orbital distances larger than 5 AU or so. In the 2020s, JWST equipped with several coronagraphic systems will support ground-based observations to explore the spectral energy distribution of exoplanets previously discovered, at wavelengths longer than 2.5 microns and up to 25 microns.
To reach the realm of mature giant planets as well as rocky planets, more ambitious projects are foreseen. In this context, direct imaging is recognized as a necessary step by some expert groups in Europe to characterize long period planets. A number of projects were already proposed either on Extremely Large Telescopes from the ground or space-based coronagraphic missions.
A dedicated session to present :
1/ current results regarding detection, spectral characterization, formation
2/ expected science with future facilities (short and long terms)