Ground telescopes and instrumentation
ESPRESSO spectrograph optical design at the PDR. Copyright: ESO/ESPRESSO Consortium. ESPRESSO spectrograph concept at the PDR. Copyright: ESO/ESPRESSO Consortium.
ESPRESSO is being developed and built for ESO (first light in 2017) by a consortium of 4 countries, including Portugal through the IA. The IA is involved in ESPRESSO since its conception, with one Co-PI of the project. ESPRESSO is currently in the procurement and construction phase. The Portuguese participation is fully assured by IA, including scientific and technological aspects (IA is responsible for the Coudé Train component, including design, procurement, and implementation). The key science goals of the consortium are to use this new-generation spectrograph to search for rocky extra-solar planets in the habitable zone of nearby stars and to determine the possible variability of physical constants. The consortium will be granted more than 270 nights of observations with the VLT to accomplish its scientific goals.
Contact at IA: Nuno C. Santos