Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Red Dots: Search for Terrestrial Planets continues!

The new campaign of the Pale Red Dot team has put two further candidates into focus: Barnard's star and ROSS 154, both residing in our very cosmic neighbourhood. (Credit: ESO/Red Dots)

The Red Dots Project is a campaign to detect the nearest terrestrial planets to the Sun. Last year's Pale Red Dot campaign led to the discovery of an Earth mass planet orbiting our closest stellar neighbour star: Proxima Centauri.

This project in terms of scientific outcome and recognition in the media was so successful that the team applied for an extension which now includes two further stars "nearby": "Barnard's star", almost 6 light-years away, and "Ross 154", 9.7 light-years away from our sun.

Part of the team of astronomers is Dr. Yiannis Tsapras, who works as Gliese-Fellow at the Astronomisches Rechen-Institut (ARI). His primary research interests lie in the field of exoplanet science, where he uses the techniques of microlensing and transits to search for planets orbiting distant stars. He will contribute essential observations in this search for terrestrial planets around our nearest stars. These newly discovered exoplanets in our immediate Galactic neighbourhood will be prime targets for future ground and space-based missions searching for life beyond the Earth.

Further information:

ESO Press Release on the extension of the Pale Red Dot Campaign (now Pale Red Dots)

Homepage of the Red Dots Project (excellent!!)

Press release on the discovery of Proxima b

ZAH scientists involved in this study:

Dr. Yiannis Tsapras
Astronomisches Rechen-Institut (ARI)
Tel. +49 6221 54-1819

ZAH outreach officer and contact person:

Dr. Guido Thimm
Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg (ZAH)
Tel. +49 6221 54-1805

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