Our astronomers were among the first to measure the atmospheres of exoplanets

For the first time, the chemistry and temperature of exoplanets’ atmospheres will be measured, allowing planetary exploration beyond the Solar System. ArielOne of the European Space Agency’s primary scientific missions is research into the atmosphere, its nature, formation and evolution. Ministerial Commissioner The man in charge of space exploration emphasized Tuesday at a meeting of the Federation of Astronautics in Budapest.

In addition to scientific research, Hungary helps develop the equipment of the mission, emphasized Orsolya Ferencz. She recalled that

The aim of the mission is to detect for the first time in human history whether the atmospheres of exoplanets contain traces of materials indicating the presence of life forms.

Hungarian researchers and engineers are involved in the implementation of the international project, including the Konkoli Tej Miklós Astronomical Institute, Astronomical and Geoscience Research Center and Admatis KFT in Miskolc (Northern Hungary).

Orsolya Ferenc. Photo by MTI/Róbert Hegedüs

A consortium meeting in Budapest presented a scientific overview of aerial spaceflight. Researchers from London and other International Space Agency partners have presented the project’s results so far, Arzolia Ferencs noted.


The European Space Agency’s (ESA) four-year aerial science mission, due to launch in 2029, will study the formation and evolution of thousands of planets orbiting distant stars at visible and infrared wavelengths. For the first time, the scientific mission will measure the chemistry and temperature of exoplanets’ atmospheres, allowing planetary research beyond the boundaries of the Solar System.

As part of the Hungarian contribution, Admatis Ltd. will lead the Hungarian team to provide instruments for the space telescope and equipment for aerial construction and ground logistics.

A special cooling radiator will be installed on the spacecraft to precisely control the temperature of critical equipment on the satellite, usually diagnostics and electronics.

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The Hungarians are manufacturing the various assembly frames, positioning equipment and racks used for assembly in the UK, as well as the three containers in which the space telescope will be transported by road across Europe. These will ensure that the satellite, worth hundreds of millions of euros, is kept in clean room conditions at the right temperature and in a vibration-free environment.

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Hungarian researchers will also participate in scientific working groups.

In addition to studying the atmospheres of exoplanets, these efforts aim to better understand the activity and function of the parent stars of special planets, and to compile, improve, and complete a target list.

The consortium developing Ariel includes 600 researchers and engineers from more than 50 institutions in 16 ESA member countries, and recently confirmed the participation of NASA of the United States, JAXA of Japan and the Canadian Space Agency. Hungary has been part of the Ariel Federation since the beginning of 2018.

The consortium holds quarterly face-to-face meetings where scientists and engineers discuss mission, instrument package design and construction, and prepare for scientific challenges, data management issues, target list, and day-to-day operations of space. task. Hungary already held a virtual confederation meeting during the 2020 Covid outbreak.

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Via MTI, featured image via Pixabay

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