Venue: The Linnean Society of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BF, UK
The radial velocity (RV) technique, using high-resolution spectra, is currently the only viable technique to measure masses of small exoplanets. Due to inherent limitations of the transit technique, longer period exoplanets such as those resembling planets in the Solar System, are also better detected via RVs. An inherent barrier to finding many small long-period exoplanets is observing time. Due to the combination of signal aliasing, stellar variability, and the long-period nature of these planet signals, it is crucial to have densely sampled data over a long period of time.
A vital component in pushing for the detection of many small long-period exoplanets involves urgently establishing the necessary ground-based infrastructure. This means to go bigger, not in size, but in number of telescopes, giving us effectively more observing time. One setup, like the Terra Hunting Experiment with HARPS3, can only observe 40 stars over 10 years, yielding only a handful of small planets. More telescopes will allow to significantly expand it to a robust statistical sample.
Therefore, we aim to realise a network of telescopes, fitted with high-resolution, high-stability optical spectrographs around the world. Provisionally, this could include 6-10 telescopes of 2-4m class, outfitted with optical spectrographs of $>$100k resolution, stabilised to better than 50 cm/s over a decade. Its main science goal would be the characterisation of small long-period exoplanets through the RV method. However, such a network could easily be of use across the wider Astronomy and Solar Physics research areas, including the study of young stars, brown dwarfs, galaxy evolution etc.
The meeting has two main aims. (1) Explore the variety of science objectives possible with a spectrograph network and how the full UK Astronomy, UKSP, and MIST communities are best served from such a suite of telescopes and spectrographs. (2) Understand the hardware requirements and potential hurdles to building this network in a timely and cost-effective manner.
The meeting will be split between covering science in the morning session (2hr) and hardware in the afternoon session (2r) with a 1hr lunch break. It will be formatted as talks interspersed with discussion sessions (both in small and large groups).
Invited speakers include: (1) Dr Ernst De Mooij (Queen's University Belfast); (2) Dr Nicholas Walton (University of Cambridge); (3) Dr Clark Baker (University of Cambridge); (4) Prof Derryck Reid (Heriot Watt University).
We have limited availability for contributed talks. If you would like to propose a talk, please send a title and short abstract to the organisers (firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com) by the end of day of Wednesday 27th September 2023.
Annelies Mortier (Birmingham)
Heather Cegla (Warwick)