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  • 24 November, 2020

  • 3 Min Read



The European Space Agency (ESA) has formally adopted Ariel.

What is Ariel?

  • Ariel (Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large survey) will be launched in 2029.
  • It will perform a large-scale survey of over a thousand exoplanets over a period of 4 years.
  • The explorer that will study the nature, formation and evolution of exoplanets.


  • Ariel is the first mission of its kind dedicated to measuring the chemical composition and thermal structures of exoplanets.

How exoplanets are found?

  • Tracking the dimming of a star that happens when a planet passes in front of it.
  • NASA’s Kepler Space telescope uses this method to spot thousands of planets.
  • Gravitational lensing and the “wobbling method”, which is based on the idea that an orbiting planet will cause its parent star to orbit slightly off-centre.

Key Points:

  • Proxima Centauri b is the closest exoplanet to Earth and is 4 light-years away and inhabits the “habitable zone” of its star, which means that it could possibly have liquid water on its surface.

Source: Twitter

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