The Promise of Polarimetry for Biosignatures and Habitability Markers

Presenter: Kim Bott, University of Washington
When: May 23, 2017 3PM PDT

The practical utility of polarimetry in determining cloud species, identifying biomarkers, and detecting ocean glint is assessed with a first order example in the form of the Earth as an exoplanet. Polarimetric surface mapping can provide detailed information about terrestrial exoplanets which may be crucial to exotic worlds such as super Earths and planets around red dwarfs. We explore the capabilities of polarimetry in the context of state-of-the-art Earth-based imaging and aperture polarimeters (e.g. SPHERE or HiPPI) and next era space telescopes (e.g. HabEx or LUVOIR). This research is relevant to upcoming large ground-based and future NASA exoplanet characterization missions, such as the proposed HabEx and LUVOIR telescope concepts.

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