Exoplanetary systems: past, present, and future
The Next Generation Transit Survey - Current Status
James McCormac
Peter Wheatley (Warwick), Richard West (Warwick), Don Pollacco (Warwick), Simon Walker (Warwick)
University of Warwick
The Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) is a new wide-field transiting exoplanet survey aimed at discovering Neptune and super-Earth size exoplanets around bright stars in the solar neighbourhood. NGTS is now routinely observing the southern sky from ESO's Paranal observatory, Chile. It consists of an array of 12 robotically operated telescopes observing in the 600-900 nm band; hence maximising the sensitivity to small but bright K and M dwarf stars. Observing K and early M type stars theoretically permits the detection of smaller transiting exoplanets as the radius of the host star is reduced compared to solar-type stars. Simulations have shown that NGTS will survey more than five times the number of stars with V brighter than 13th mag than Kepler and will therefore provide the brightest targets for characterisation with existing and future instrumentation (VLT, E-ELT and JWST). Many recent discoveries of planetary systems harbouring Neptune-mass planets and super-Earths clearly indicate that low-mass planets around solar-type stars are very common. Paranal boasts exceptional photometric conditions and a low atmospheric water vapour content for a significant fraction of the year, which is essential for NGTS to perform photometry at the required millimagnitude level or better. The NGTS project is made up of partners from the University of Warwick, University of Leicester, University of Cambridge, Queen's University Belfast, Observatoire de Geneve and DLR Berlin. NGTS builds on the experience of the SuperWASP project, which, for many years, has lead the ground-based detection of transiting exoplanets. I will present the current status of the project and results from the survey
09:00 - 10:30
EX - LT3 (320)