Space based microlensing planet searches
1 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, UMR7095 UPMC–CNRS, 98 bis boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
3 Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University, Cotter Rd, Weston Creek, ACT 2611, Australia
4 Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, Columbus OH 43210, USA
The discovery of extra-solar planets is arguably the most exciting development in astrophysics during the past 15 years, rivalled only by the detection of dark energy. Two projects unite the communities of exoplanet scientists and cosmologists: the proposed ESA M class mission EUCLID and the large space mission WFIRST, top ranked by the Astronomy 2010 Decadal Survey report. The later states that: “Space-based microlensing is the optimal approach to providing a true statistical census of planetary systems in the Galaxy, over a range of likely semi-major axes”. They also add: “This census, combined with that made by the Kepler mission, will determine how common Earth-like planets are over a wide range of orbital parameters”. We will present a status report of the results obtained by microlensing on exoplanets and the new objectives of the next generation of ground based wide field imager networks. We will finally discuss the fantastic prospect offered by space based microlensing at the horizon 2020–2025.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013