The ESA-Ariel mission will include a tier dedicated to exoplanet phase curves corresponding to ∼ 10 % of the science time. We present here the current observing strategy for studying exoplanet phase curves with Ariel. We define science questions, requirements and a list of potential targets. We also estimate the precision of phase curve reconstruction and atmospheric retrieval using simulated phase curves. Based on this work, we found that full-orbit phase variations for 35-40 exoplanets could be observed during the 3.5-yr mission. This statistical sample would provide key constraints on atmospheric dynamics, composition, thermal structure and clouds of warm exoplanets, complementary to the scientific yield from spectroscopic transits/eclipses measurements.
- Ariel space mission
- Phase curves