European Space Astronomy Centre, Madrid
Extrasolar planets are commonly found around stars in the Galaxy but many questions concerning their formation and evolution remain open. Further progress relies on obtaining a comprehensive exoplanet census over a wide range of stellar types and planet parameters, which necessitates the combination of complementary observational techniques. Accurate measurements of stellar positions, i.e. astrometry, can inform us on the properties of extrasolar planets that are difficult to obtain with other techniques. However, detecting the orbital reflex motion of the host star with a typical amplitude smaller than 0.1 milli-arcseconds is challenging for present-day instruments. I will present an overview of the observing techniques that can reach the necessary precision, which include large ground-based facilities and dedicated space observatories, and highlight their contributions to the exoplanet field so far. In particular, I will show new results from an ongoing astrometric planet search around very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs with the VLT. Finally, I will discuss the Gaia space astrometry mission and present my view of its impact on exoplanet research.
2015 April 22, 11:00
Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto (Auditorium)
Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto