Science Seminars

CUTE: The First UV Exoplanet Mission

Speaker: Arika Egan (CU/APS)
Date: Thursday, Feb 13, 2020
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: SPSC W120

Seminar Abstract:

The next decade of astronomy will in part be defined by the further discovery and characterizing of exoplanets, particularly their atmospheres. An exoplanet atmosphere can best be understood with a full suite of electromagnetic observations, with infrared observations probing lower, molecule-dense altitudes and ultraviolet observations able to probe the hot exospheres. The Colorado Ultraviolet Transit Experiment (CUTE) is the first space observatory dedicated to atmospheric characterization. A NASA-supported, LASP-built 6U CubeSat launching in early 2021, CUTE will provide moderate-resolution near-ultraviolet transit spectroscopy of approximately one dozen short-period exoplanets. This talk will focus on the exciting science the CUTE team expects from the spacecraft and will place CUTE within the larger context of exoplanet atmospheric observations.