The Messenger Telescopes and Instrumentation

The SPECULOOS Southern Observatory Begins its Hunt for Rocky Planets

Authors
  • Jehin, Emmanuël [STAR Institute, University of Liège, Belgium]
  • Gillon, Michaël [STAR Institute, University of Liège, Belgium; Astrobiology Research Unit, University of Liège, Belgium]
  • Queloz, Didier [Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK; University of Geneva, Switzerland]
  • Delrez, Laetitia [Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK]
  • Burdanov, Artem [STAR Institute, University of Liège, Belgium]
  • Murray, Catriona [Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK]
  • Sohy, Sandrine [STAR Institute, University of Liège, Belgium]
  • Ducrot, Elsa [STAR Institute, University of Liège, Belgium]
  • Sebastian, Daniel [STAR Institute, University of Liège, Belgium]
  • Thompson, Samantha [Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK]
  • McCormac, James [Department of Physics, University of Warwick, UK]
  • Almleaky, Yaseen [Space and Astronomy Department, King Abdul Aziz University, Saudi Arabia]
  • Burgasser, Adam J. [Center for Astrophysics and Space Science, University of California San Diego, USA]
  • Demory, Brice-Olivier [Center for Space and Habitability, University of Bern, Switzerland]
  • de Wit, Julien [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT, Cambridge, USA]
  • Barkaoui, Khalid [STAR Institute, University of Liège, Belgium; Astrobiology Research Unit, University of Liège, Belgium]
  • Pozuelos, Francisco J. [STAR Institute, University of Liège, Belgium]
  • Triaud, Amaury H. M. J. [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, UK]
  • Grootel, Valérie Van [STAR Institute, University of Liège, Belgium]

Section
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Abstract

The SPECULOOS Southern Observatory (SSO), a new facility of four 1- metre robotic telescopes, began scientific operations at Cerro Paranal on 1 January 2019. The main goal of the SPECULOOS project is to explore approximately 1000 of the smallest (≤ 0.15 R), brightest (Kmag ≤ 12.5), and nearest (d ≤ 40 pc) very low mass stars and brown dwarfs. It aims to discover transiting temperate terrestrial planets well-suited for detailed atmospheric characterisation with future giant telescopes like ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) and the NASA James Webb Telescope (JWST). The SSO is the core facility of SPECULOOS. The exquisite astronomical conditions at Cerro Paranal will enable SPECULOOS to detect exoplanets as small as Mars. Here, we briefly describe SPECULOOS, and present the features and performance of the SSO facility.


Dates
Created: 2018-12-01/2018-12-31
Length
6 pages

Cite this article:

E. Jehin, M. Gillon, D. Queloz, L. Delrez, A. Burdanov, C. Murray, S. Sohy, E. Ducrot, D. Sebastian, S. Thompson, J. McCormac, Y. Almleaky, A. Burgasser, B. Demory, J. de Wit, K. Barkaoui, F. Pozuelos, A. Triaud, V. Grootel; The SPECULOOS Southern Observatory Begins its Hunt for Rocky Planets. The Messenger 174 (December 2018): 2–7. https://doi.org/10.18727/0722-6691/5105