The purpose of this website is to help the coordination of the preparation for the follow-up observations of PLATO exoplanet transiting candidates. The goal is to optimize resources and to facilitate collaboration in the PLATO follow-up activities. The aim is to identify and list all the existing and in-development facilities which will be in operation during the PLATO mission (2022-2028) with a significant amount of available time, competent teams and efficient data reduction systems.
PLATO is an M3 ESA space mission devoted to the detection of terrestrial exoplanets in the habitable zone of solar-type stars and characterization of their bulk properties needed to determine they habitability.
PLATO also aims to the characterization of thousands of rocky (including Earth twins), icy or giant planets, including the architecture of their planetary system, to fundamentally enhance our understanding of the formation and the evolution of planetary systems.
To achieve these goals, PLATO will perform ultrahigh precision, long (up to several years), uninterrupted photometric monitoring in the visible band of very large samples of bright (Mv ≤11) stars.
The role of the PLATO follow-up is multiple. It is first mandatory to discard false positive configurations leading to photometric signatures similar to the ones induced by planetary transits. Due to the PLATO large pixel size on the sky, false positives related to stellar diluted blends will appear often. It is thus important to point out these cases before spending expensive time on large telescopes. Many cases will be discarded from the light curve analysis but for the remaining cases, it will be important to check that the low- depth transit is not due to a deeper eclipse of a fainter star very close to the primary target.
This can be achieved at higher spatial resolution, checking for transits on the neighboring stars. Then, complementary observations provide information on the planet properties not available from the light curves, the most important among them being the planet masses derived from radial velocities. The radial velocity follow-up coupled with the high-angular confirmation that the transit is indeed taking place on the primary target should be sufficient to safely characterize the planet candidates.
|PLATO Yellow Book||PLATO Follow-up Observations Decision Chart|