Seminars at FGG

Photometric transit search for planets around cool stars from the western Italian Alps: The APACHE survey

Speaker: Paolo Giacobbe (University of Trieste)

Date and time: 2012-10-23 10:00

Small-size ground-based telescopes can effectively be used to look for transiting rocky planets around nearby low-mass M stars. Since 2009 at the Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley (OAVdA), we have been preparing for the long-term photometric survey APACHE, aimed at finding transiting small-size planets around hundreds of nearby early and mid-M dwarfs. APACHE (A PAthway toward the Characterization of Habitable Earths) is designed to use an array of five dedicated and identical 40-cm RC telescopes, each of them monitoring dozens of stars every night. Here we present the main steps undertaken for the purpose of the design and development of the APACHE survey, and we will describe the present status of the observing campaign which is officially started in July 2012. Finally, we briefly highlight the potential synergy between APACHE and HARPS-N within the context the observing programme GAPS (Global Architecture of Planetary Systems).