New Projects for Extrasolar Planet Mission

On the 4th and 5th of September, Queen Mary University of London will host a workshop to shape the objectives of the European Space Agency (ESA) PLATO mission.

The PLATO mission, which aims to survey up to a million nearby stars for signs of planetary systems, is due to launch in 2024. This week's workshop will bring together experts in planetary formation theory, planetary system dynamics and planetary interiors to discuss possible projects for inclusion in the mission's Exoplanet Science workpackage.

The ESA website details how PLATO will monitor relatively nearby stars, searching for tiny, regular dips in brightness as their planets transit in front of them, temporarily blocking out a small fraction of the starlight.

Further reading

Exoplanet science in Queen Mary undergraduate programmes

Exoplanet science in Queen Mary postgraduate programmes

Planet formation theory and dynamics in the PLATO era workshop homepage

PLATO on the ESA website

Image courtesy of ESA