Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - INTERFEROMETRY (Interferometric Observations of Planetary Systems)

The main aims of the project were the astronomical observation and detailed study of a whole extra-solar planetary system, detecting planets with different techniques, and to advance the technology of interferometry for astronomical beam combination, also for better detection of extra-solar planets near other stars. We have discovered and/or studied in this project three extra-solar planetary systems: HR 8799 with four planets detected directly and two debris disks found indirectly by our investigation of the spectral energy distribution (Reidemeister et al. 2009 A&A 503, 247), WASP-3 with two planets, one of them discovered by one of our fellows with the new transit timing variation method (Maciejewski et al. 2010 MNRAS 407, 2625), and WASP-10 also with two planets, one of them discovered by one of our fellows with new transit timing variation method (Maciejewski et al. 2010 MNRAS in press). In addition, we have discovered one more new planet candidate by direct imaging, namely CT Cha b with a mass of around 7 to 20 Jupiter masses (Schmidt et al. 2008 A&A 491, 311), and we have studied other planet candidates detected directly by further astrometric imaging (e.g. Neuhaeuser et al. 2008 A&A 484, 281).

In our technological instrument development project part, we have developed a prototype for a vibration control instrument, which can be used, e.g., at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile. This new device, based on integrated optics and fibers, can measure the vibrations of the mirrors behind any of the 8-meter Unit Telescopes and can then also compensate for the vibrations of the mirrors. After correction of those vibrations, the capabilities of the interferometer instruments at VLTI will be much better, so that fainter companions like low-mass planets can be detected by interferometry. This work was also led by one of our fellows (see Minardi et al. 2009 AN 330, 518 and Minardi et al. 2010 APIE 7734, 117).

We have then also worked with data from AMBER, the VLTI instrument for the near infrared, and have obtained very precise stellar parameters of the bright binary star delta Vel, so that theoretical tracks and isochrones can be tested, also work led by one of our fellows (Pribulla et al. 2011 A&A in press). Furthermore, we have observed a number of additional transits of known transiting planets in order to improve the orbital elements and to search for transit timing variations, published by our fellows, e.g. Vanko et al. 2009 IAU Symp 253, p 440). At the end of the project, we have also held an international workshop Publications lists and some of the papers were submitted as attachments to yearly reports and are available from ADS.

Reported by

Dornburger Str. 25-29
07743 JENA