Heike Rauer (Institute of Planetary Research DLR, Berlin-Adlershof and Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, TU Berlin)

Status and future of extrasolar planet detection by photometric transits
When Dec 14, 2012 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Colloquium
Where SH, Lecture hall
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In this decade we have seen a rapid increase in our understanding of the nature of extra-solar planet systems and their host stars. Missions such as Corot and Kepler have confirmed that not only are extra-solar planets a common occurrence, but that multiple planetary systems are also the norm. The detection of hot low-mass, super-Earth planets like CoRoT-7b and Kepler-10b, has expanded our planet inventory towards small, rocky planets. The planned ESA Small Mission CHEOPS will extend the sample of planets with known radii by following-up planets previously detected from ground, e.g. by the radial-velocity method. Photometric ground-based surveys searching for transiting planets have been very successful in the past and aim towards increasing the number of e.g. mini-Neptune-like planets in future, e.g. like the NGTS survey (Next Generation Transit Survey) starting in the near future. However, whilst there has been significant progress in discovery and to some extent understanding of extra solar planets and their host star(s), major questions remain as we seek to reveal the presence of extra-solar planets harboring life. The PLATO mission is a proposed ESA M3 mission which will revolutionize our understanding of extra-solar planets, through its discovery of planets around hundreds of thousands of stars, orders of magnitudes more than previously known. This talk will provide an overview of the detection status of current and future transit surveys and will then describe the PLATO mission and science yield.