Projects per year
RoboNet-1.0 is a prototype global network of three two-meter robotic telescopes, placed in La Palma (Canary Islands), Maui (Hawaii), and Siding Spring (Australia). In April 2004, funding for RoboNet-1.0 until July 2007 was approved by PPARC's Science Committee, and the project commenced in earnest in August 2004. The search for cool extra-solar planets by optimised robotic monitoring of Galactic microlensing events is one of the two core elements of its scientific programme-observations of gamma-ray bursts is the other. During the 2005 observing season, light curves of more than 60 microlensing events have been sampled at regular intervals. One particular event, OGLE-2005-BLG-71, showed an anomaly caused by an extrasolar planet, which constituted the second detection of a planet by microlensing. As a by-product, our dense monitoring during caustic crossing events can resolve the brightness profile of observed source stars, providing an observational test of stellar atmosphere models. Current development work uses e-science to create a fully automated chain linking event monitoring to the detection of anomalies in the microlensing lightcurves that could be indications of planetary companions and on to the triggering of follow-up observations. In order to fully exploit the potential of such a network for detecting exoplanets, it will be necessary to complement the existing RoboNet with additional telescopes in the southern hemisphere. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- experimental techniques
- extrasolar planets
- instrumentation photometry
- GRAVITATIONAL LENSING EXPERIMENT
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- 1 Finished
1/04/06 → 31/03/11