The Far Future of Exoplanet Direct Characterization
Journal article, 2010

We describe future steps in the direct characterization of habitable exoplanets subsequent to medium and large mission projects currently underway and investigate the benefits of spectroscopic and direct imaging approaches. We show that, after third- and fourth-generation missions have been conducted over the course of the next 100 years, a significant amount of time will lapse before we will have the capability to observe directly the morphology of extrasolar organisms.


Direct imaging



Habitable exoplanets

extra-solar planets

High-resolution spectroscopy

Far future missions


Surface features


J. Schneider

Observatoire de Paris-Meudon

A. Leger

University of Paris-Sud

M. Fridlund

European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESA ESTEC)

G. J. White

Open University

STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

C. Eiroa

Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (UAM)

T. Henning

Max Planck Society

T. Herbst

Max Planck Society

H. Lammer

Institut fur Weltraumforschung

René Liseau

Chalmers, Department of Radio and Space Science, Radio Astronomy and Astrophysics

F. Paresce

Istituto nazionale di astrofisica (INAF)

A. Penny

Royal Observatory

STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

A. Quirrenbach

Heidelberg-Königstuhl State Observatory

H. Rottgering

Leiden University

F. Selsis

University of Bordeaux

C. Beichman

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

W. Danchi

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

L. Kaltenegger

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

J. Lunine

University of Arizona

D. Stam

Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON)

G. Tinetti

University College London (UCL)


1531-1074 (ISSN)

Vol. 10 1 121-126

Subject Categories

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


Basic sciences



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