Nuno C. Santos (PI), Alexandre Cabral (Proj. Manager)
This project is funded by the European Union (ERC, FIERCE, 101052347)
The detection and characterisation of other Earths, planets with the physical conditions to hold liquid water and thus potential life-sustaining environments, is a bold objective of present day astrophysics. This quest is however severely challenged by astrophysical “noise” from the host stars. Overall, existing methods to tackle this problem have proven to be insufficient to reach the required precision levels.
To approach this problem we are building a dedicated facility, the Paranal solar Espresso Telescope (PoET). This telescope will be linked to the ESPRESSO spectrograph (ESO) and allow to acquire simultaneously disk-integrated (sun-as-a-star) and arcsecond level disk-resolved observations of the Sun at a spectral resolution R~200000. The main scientific motivation behind PoET is tackle the problem of “stellar noise” in high-resolution spectroscopy observations: both in precise radial velocities and in transmission/emission spectroscopy.
Furthermore, we believe that PoET will be able to contribute to other science cases, including solar and stellar physics. Operations are expected to start by the end of 2024.