Project support for the Wide Area Search for Planets

Lead Research Organisation: University of St Andrews
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

Questions such as ``how many stars have planets around them?'' and ``how many habitable planets are there?'' interest both astronomers and everyone else. To answer them we need to find planets that can be studied in detail, seeking to understand the processes by which planets form and solar systems evolve. Of the two hundred planets that astronomers have found orbiting other stars we can learn most about those that transit in front of their star. We can measure how big they are, how heavy they are, and thus deduce their density and what they are made of. And by looking at how their atmosphere absorbs the light of their star we can discover the composition of their atmospheres. The WASP project aims to monitor 40 million of the brightest stars, looking for the tiny dips in their light caused by a planet passing in front of them. We will survey the sky for the transiting planets that are relatively close to Earth, which we can study in detail to enable us to understand how planetary systems form and evolve. The next generation of space missions, such as the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to Hubble, will prioritize the study of planets around other stars. The WASP project will find the planets that will make the best and most interesting targets.

Publications

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Aarnio A (2012) Mechanical equilibrium of hot, large-scale magnetic loops on T Tauri stars TTS magnetic loops in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Alsubai K (2011) Qatar-1b: a hot Jupiter orbiting a metal-rich K dwarf star Qatar-1b: a planet transiting a K dwarf star in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Alsubai K.A. (2013) The Qatar Exoplanet Survey in Acta Astronomica

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Alsubai K.A. (2013) The Qatar Exoplanet Survey in Acta Astronomica

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Anderson D (2011) WASP-40b: Independent Discovery of the 0.6  M Jup Transiting Exoplanet HAT-P-27b in Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific

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Anderson D (2013) Thermal emission at 3.6-8 ┬Ám from WASP-19b: a hot Jupiter without a stratosphere orbiting an active star in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Anderson D (2011) WASP-30b: A 61 M Jup BROWN DWARF TRANSITING A V = 12, F8 STAR in The Astrophysical Journal

 
Description SuperWASP is the UK's leading extra-solar planet detection program comprised of a consortium of eight academic institutions. SuperWASP consists of two robotic observatories that operate continuously throughout the year, allowing coverage of both hemispheres of the sky. The first, SuperWASP-North, is located on the island of La Palma among the Isaac Newton Group (ING) of telescopes. The second, SuperWASP-South, is located at the site of the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), just outside Sutherland, South Africa. The observatories each consist of eight wide-angle cameras that simultaneously monitor the sky for planetary transit events. The eight cameras allow the monitoring of millions of stars simultaneously, enabling the detection of rare transit events. WASP has to date yielded over 150 discoveries of giant planets in close orbits about their host stars, making it the world's leading ground-based transit survey.
Exploitation Route Education; Data mining of public archive.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education

URL http://exoplanetarchive.ipac.caltech.edu/docs/SuperWASPMission.html
 
Description WASP planet discoveries formed the basis for a number of successful press releases.
First Year Of Impact 2008
Sector Education
Impact Types Cultural,Policy & public services

 
Description WASP 
Organisation Keele University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design and implementation of WASP data-analysis pipeline. Design and implementation of WASP transit-search software. Design and implementation of WASP transit-fitting and orbit-determination software.
Collaborator Contribution QUB: Fabrication, installation and operation of SuperWASP. Keele: Fabrication, installation and operation of WASP-South. Leicester: Design, implementation and maintenance of WASP data archive.
Impact Over 200 Publications
 
Description WASP 
Organisation Open University
Department School of Physical Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design and implementation of WASP data-analysis pipeline. Design and implementation of WASP transit-search software. Design and implementation of WASP transit-fitting and orbit-determination software.
Collaborator Contribution QUB: Fabrication, installation and operation of SuperWASP. Keele: Fabrication, installation and operation of WASP-South. Leicester: Design, implementation and maintenance of WASP data archive.
Impact Over 200 Publications
 
Description WASP 
Organisation Queen's University Belfast
Department Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design and implementation of WASP data-analysis pipeline. Design and implementation of WASP transit-search software. Design and implementation of WASP transit-fitting and orbit-determination software.
Collaborator Contribution QUB: Fabrication, installation and operation of SuperWASP. Keele: Fabrication, installation and operation of WASP-South. Leicester: Design, implementation and maintenance of WASP data archive.
Impact Over 200 Publications
 
Description WASP 
Organisation University of Leicester
Department Department of Physics & Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design and implementation of WASP data-analysis pipeline. Design and implementation of WASP transit-search software. Design and implementation of WASP transit-fitting and orbit-determination software.
Collaborator Contribution QUB: Fabrication, installation and operation of SuperWASP. Keele: Fabrication, installation and operation of WASP-South. Leicester: Design, implementation and maintenance of WASP data archive.
Impact Over 200 Publications