Exoplanets is one of the few fields that amateur astronomers and the public can contribute significantly, with observations with small and medium scale telescopes.
Ariel is an M4 space mission by ESA and it will observe spectroscopically around 1000 exoplanets to further characterise the nature of exoplanets. In the case of Ariel, small and medium size telescope are valuable, in order to plan the observations as efficiently as possible. To achieve this, a good knowledge of the planets’ ephemerides is needed before the launch of Ariel in 2029. While ephemerides for some planets are being refined on a per-case basis, an organised effort to collectively verify or update them when necessary does not exist.
In this session, we will present the Ariel mission and will present the ExoClock project, an open, integrated and interactive platform with the purpose of producing a confirmed list of ephemerides for the planets that will be observed by Ariel. The project has been developed in a manner to make the best use of all available resources: observations reported in the literature, observations from space instruments and, mainly, observations from ground-based telescopes, including both professional and amateur observatories. To facilitate inexperienced observers and at the same time achieve homogeneity in the results, we created data collection and validation protocols, educational material and easy to use interfaces, open to everyone. ExoClock was launched in September 2019 and now counts over 600 participants, mostly amateur astronomers from all over around the world.
Agenda of the meeting:
- Giovanna Tinetti from UCL, Principal Investigator of the Ariel Mission
- Anastasia Kokori from UCL, coordinator of the ExoClock project
- Yves Jongen, active ExoClock observer
- Angelos Tsiaras from the Arceti Observatory, coordinator of the ExoClock project
The ExoClock project website: www.exoclock.space
Educational material can be found at: www.exoworldsspies.com
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