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2008 Annual Science Report

University of Hawaii, Manoa Reporting  |  JUL 2007 – JUN 2008

Variable Young Stellar Objects Survey (VYSOS)

Project Summary

VYSOS is designed as a survey for variable young stellar objects (protostars and early stars) along the galactic plane and for transiting planets. Out of the about 300 known extrasolar planets just 50 are passing in front of their host star (transits). These transiting planets are highly valuable in scientific terms, because in combination with spectroscopic follow-up observations the absolute values for planetary mass, radius and the geometry of the system can be given. This information allows more detailed follow-up observations by space-based telescopes in order to deduct the composition of the planetary atmosphere and search for prerequisites of life like water in these atmospheres.

Transiting planets have triggered much theoretical research on planet formation and planetary systems within the past years. The spectrum of densities of planets is not yet fully understood, which has implications for theories about planetary formation as well as atmospheric models.

4 Institutions
3 Teams
0 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

The main work till July 2008 has been to prepare the observations in terms of hardware and software. The 5-inch Vysos telescope has successfully been mounted on Mauna Loa Observatory, Big Island, Hawaii. The telescope is in commissioning phase, first observations runs have been successful.

    Bo Reipurth Bo Reipurth
    Project Investigator
    Martin Paegert
    Josh Walawender
    Objective 1.1
    Models of formation and evolution of habitable planets

    Objective 1.2
    Indirect and direct astronomical observations of extrasolar habitable planets