A NEW CLASS OF SCIENCE SATELLITE
Twinkle is a seven-year space science mission that will unravel the story of planets within our galaxy. Collaborative international surveys will deliver visible and infrared spectroscopy of thousands of targets, enabling scientists to produce transformative research on exoplanet atmospheres, solar system objects, stars and stellar discs. Scientists worldwide can join the mission and shape its science agenda through a simple membership programme.
BUILT BY INDUSTRY LEADERS
Twinkle is being designed in collaboration with leading satellite and instrument manufacturers Airbus and ABB. The high-heritage approach to the design and component selection will deliver a high-specification astronomy satellite within the short timeframes usually associated with commercial satellites. The satellite will operate in a low-Earth, Sun-synchronous polar orbit, maximising opportunities for science observations along the ecliptic plane.
THOUSANDS OF TARGETS
There are over 400 current known exoplanets and over 3000 current known solar system objects within Twinkle’s field of regard. Detection surveys such as TESS, LSST and NEOSM are predicted to confirm thousands of new exoplanets and solar system objects respectively. Many of these discoveries will be bright targets ideally suited for investigation by Twinkle, which will follow-up on the detection missions by shedding new light on the composition, temperature and variability of these objects.
Twinkle provides simultaneous broadband spectroscopy from 0.5 to 4.5 µm of exoplanet atmospheres, transforming our understanding and knowledge of their compositional characteristics. The satellite will deliver a comprehensive study of atmospheres using simultaneous visible and infrared transit and eclipse spectroscopy, whilst also providing phase curves and high precision spectrophotometry for a wide range of targets.
Simulated Spectrum of HD 209458 b: 3 Transits
SOLAR SYSTEM SCIENCE
Simulated Spectrum of Main Belt C-type Asteroid
Twinkle will reveal the composition of thousands of solar system objects, including asteroids, comets and moons. This large, consistent dataset will provide powerful new insights into the formation and evolution of our solar system, particularly through the study of some of its oldest primordial building blocks. The satellite’s position above the atmosphere and its broad, continuous wavelength coverage will uniquely enable the observation of hydration features, organic molecules, CO2, and silicates without contamination from the telluric lines that limit ground-based telescope observations.