ESOcast 71: New Exoplanet-hunting Telescopes on Paranal
14 januari 2015
This ESOcast takes a close look at an unusual new group of small telescopes that has recently achieved first light at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile.
The Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) will search for transiting exoplanets — planets that pass in front of their parent star and hence produce a slight dimming of the star’s light that can be detected by sensitive instruments. The telescopes will focus on discovering Neptune-sized and smaller planets, with diameters between two and eight times that of Earth. NGTS is designed to operate in a robotic mode and it will continuously monitor the brightness of hundreds of thousands of comparatively bright stars in the southern skies.
The NGTS discoveries, and follow-up observations by telescopes on the ground and in space, will be important steps in our quest to study the atmospheres and composition of small, Earth-like planets.
More episodes of the ESOcast are also available.
Find out how to view and contribute subtitles for the ESOcast in multiple languages or translate this video on DotSUB.
Visual design and editing: Martin Kornmesser and Luis Calçada.
Editing: Herbert Zodet.
Web and technical support: Mathias André and Raquel Yumi Shida.
Written by: Mathias Jäger, Herbert Zodet and Richard Hook.
Narration: Sara Mendes da Costa.
Music: Johan B. Monell (www.johanmonell.com).
Footage and photos: ESO, L. Calçada, M. Kornmesser, ESA/Hubble, G. Lambert and B. Tafreshi (twanight.org).
Directed by: Herbert Zodet.
Executive producer: Lars Lindberg Christensen.