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Development of the SPECULOOS exoplanet search project

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

Change log

Authors

Sebastian, D 
Pedersen, PP 
Murray, CA 
Ducrot, E 
Garcia, LJ 

Abstract

SPECULOOS (Search for habitable Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars) aims to perform a transit search on the nearest (<40pc) ultracool (<3000K) dwarf stars. The project's main motivation is to discover potentially habitable planets well-suited for detailed atmospheric characterisation with upcoming giant telescopes, like the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and European Large Telescope (ELT). The project is based on a network of 1m robotic telescopes, namely the four ones of the SPECULOOS-Southern Observatory (SSO) in Cerro Paranal, Chile, one telescope of the SPECULOOS-Northern Observatory (SNO) in Tenerife, and the SAINT-Ex telescope in San Pedro M'artir, Mexico. The prototype survey of the SPECULOOS project on the 60~cm TRAPPIST telescope (Chile) discovered the TRAPPIST-1 system, composed of seven temperate Earth-sized planets orbiting a nearby (12~pc) Jupiter-sized star. In this paper, we review the current status of SPECULOOS, its first results, the plans for its development, and its connection to the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and JWST.

Description

Keywords

Exoplanets, Astrobiology, Search for biosignatures, Robotic Astronomy, High-precision near-IR time-series photometry, Stars: low-mass, Planetary systems, Transiting planets

Journal Title

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0277-786X
1996-756X

Volume Title

11445

Publisher

SPIE

Rights

All rights reserved