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FInding ExoeaRths: tackling the ChallengEs of stellar activity

Objective

FIERCE aims at providing the long-needed step forward to tackle the challenges of stellar activity on the search for Exoearths.

The detection and characterisation of other Earths, planets with the physical conditions to hold liquid water and thus potential life-sustaining environments, is a bold objective of present day astrophysics. This goal continuously pushes the development of new ground- and space-based instrumentation. However, the quest for other Earths is severely limited by astrophysical ``noise'' from the host stars, whose signatures distort the spectra that are used to detect and characterise them. Existing methods usually circumvent the problem without a detailed understanding of the individual sources of variability. This is insufficient to reach the required precision levels. To enable the full scientific success of major exoplanet research facilities a new approach is clearly needed.

With FIERCE, the PI will employ his competitive team, together with the strong participation in cutting-edge ESO and ESA projects and missions, to break through in this obstacle. The ultimate goal is to i) develop novel approaches to identify, model, and correct stellar spurious signals in radial velocity measurements down to 10 cm/s, and ii) obtain a comprehensive understanding of the impact of stellar granulation and activity on the detection of exoplanet atmospheres.

To this end, FIERCE will approach the problem of stellar ``noise'' from a whole new angle, building a dedicated facility, the Paranal solar Espresso Telescope (PoET). PoET will connect to the recently commissioned ESPRESSO spectrograph and, using the Sun as a proxy, allow to unambiguously identify and understand the sources of relevant variability in solar-type stars.

Ambitious, timely, and feasible, this project will provide crucial information for the success of present and future major efforts aiming at detecting and characterising other Earths.

Coordinator

CENTRO DE INVESTIGACAO EM ASTRONOMIA E ASTROFISICA DA UNIVERSIDADE DOPORTO ASSOCIACAO
Net EU contribution
€ 2 080 373,75
Address
Rua Das Estrelas
4150 762 Porto
Portugal

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Region
Continente Norte Área Metropolitana do Porto
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (2)

FCIENCIAS.ID - ASSOCIACAO PARA A INVESTIGACAO E DESENVOLVIMENTO DE CIENCIAS
Portugal
Net EU contribution
€ 231 717,50
Address
Campo Grande, Edificio C1, Piso 3
1749 016 Lisbon

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Region
Continente Área Metropolitana de Lisboa Área Metropolitana de Lisboa
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,00
UNIVERSIDADE DO PORTO
Portugal
Net EU contribution
€ 146 613,75
Address
Praca Gomes Teixeira
4099-002 Porto

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Region
Continente Norte Área Metropolitana do Porto
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00