The Dispersed Matter Planet Project

Lead Research Organisation: Open University
Department Name: Faculty of Sci, Tech, Eng & Maths (STEM)


The Dispersed Matter Planet Project (DMPP) uses signatures of absorption by circumstellar gas to identify the probable host stars of key exoplanets for study in the coming era of exoplanetology. We identified 39 bright, nearby target stars and are executing a state-ofthe-art programme of high cadence, high precision radial velocity RV observations to detect rocky exoplanets in short period orbits around them. Our first three planetary systems are DMPP-1: a compact multiplanet system, with multiple super-Earth planets orbiting a bright nearby star; DMPP-2, the first RV discovery of a planet orbiting a strongly pulsating star; DMPP-3 which is a ~500d eccentric binary star system hosting a circum-primary super-Earth. The last of these presents formidable challenges to our current planet formation models. Because the stars were identified by the signatures of absorbing gas ablated from the closein planets, these systems are amenable to transmission spectroscopy which can reveal the planet composition. Furthermore, angular momentum considerations suggest these planets have a high probability of transiting. Thus, potentially, our planet discoveries will yield planet masses, radii and compositions, all with small uncertainty ranges. This paves the way for comparative exogeology.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/V50693X/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2024
2448574 Studentship ST/V50693X/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2023 Zachary Ross