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Signal Correction to Reveal other Earths

Objective

Searching for life signatures on another planet is one of the key endeavours of astrophysics and today, we are in a unique position to make this possible. The TESS satellite, which just started observing, will find the first Earth-twins orbiting bright stars, which will allow follow-up studies with JWST and ELTs to characterize the atmosphere of those exoplanets. However, TESS will only measure the radius of the detected Earth-twins, which is not enough to interpret the spectroscopic features in their atmospheres. The mass is also required, and it can be obtained using the radial-velocity (RV) technique, which measures the gravitational influence of an exoplanet on its host star. To measure the mass of the Earth-twins that TESS will detect, the community have built incredible RV instruments that can reach a RV precision of 0.25 m/s (ESPRESSO commissioning). Such an extreme precision is required to measure the tiny signature of an Earth-twin, however, this is without considering the perturbing signals induced by its host star, by Earth’s atmosphere and by instrumental noise. Indeed, we know that these perturbing signals mask completely the signal induced by an Earth-twin, and now that the RV instruments have the sensitivity to detect such planets, it is urgent to develop novel methods for mitigating the different perturbing signals. Understanding the different perturbing signals is extremely challenging and require incredible data. The PI have built two telescopes that feed Sun-light into the best RV instruments. The obtained data are of exceptional quality, and the goal of SCORE is to analyse them, explore novel promising methods for mitigating the different perturbing signals and find the tiny signatures of Earth and Venus. This will open the way towards the mass-measurement of Earth-twins, which is essential in the quest for finding life elsewhere, but also to understand planetary formation and dynamics. SCORE will therefore benefit the entire planet community.

Call for proposal

ERC-2019-STG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-STG - Starting Grant

Host institution

UNIVERSITE DE GENEVE
Address
Rue Du General Dufour 24
1211 Geneve
Switzerland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 500 000

Beneficiaries (1)

UNIVERSITE DE GENEVE
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 1 500 000
Address
Rue Du General Dufour 24
1211 Geneve
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments