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Planet 2

Detection and characterization of exoplanets through gravitational microlensing in the age of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)

Principal Investigators

  • Dr. Yiannis Tsapras
    Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg


Modern wide-field surveys on telescopes with large apertures are changing the structure of astronomical observing campaigns. Many millions of alerts of astronomical transients will be generated every single night, and they are impossible to process without resorting to automation.

Relying on the software infrastructure developed during our previous project, we investigate the exciting opportunities opened up by these surveys in the field of gravitational microlensing and especially the search for, discovery and characterisation of extrasolar planets.

To this end, we employ sophisticated automated observing systems that harvest and prioritize microlensing alerts from multiple survey streams with the aim of discovering and characterizing exoplanet and brown dwarf candidates, as well as stellar remnants.

Because microlensing-detected planets are typically located beyond the snow-line, these results will be particularly significant when comparing observed distributions with the predictions of planet formation theories.

We also investigate how our current work relates to the long-term scientific goals of large surveys, such as those of the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) and the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory.


Yiannis Tsapras

Markus Hundertmark

Joachim Wambsganss

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