National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS

Gesellschaftsstrasse 6 | CH-3012 Bern | Switzerland

Tel. +41 (0)31 631 32 39

Project 3 – Pl: Prof. Francesco Pepe

A planet inflated like a balloon

A planet inflated like a balloon

Researchers from UNIGE and members of the NCCR PlanetS have found helium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet, swollen like a balloon. Although helium is a rare element on Earth, it is ubiquitous in the Universe. It is, after hydrogen, the main component of stars and gaseous giant planets. Despite its abundance, helium was only […]

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Iron and titanium in the atmosphere

Iron and titanium in the atmosphere

Metal vapours have been detected in the atmosphere of an “ultra-hot Jupiter” by a team of astronomers led by the UNIGE. Exoplanets, planets in other solar systems, can orbit very close to their host star. When, in addition to this, the host star is much hotter than our Sun, then the exoplanet becomes as hot […]

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Observing the Sun to detect planets

Observing the Sun to detect planets

The detection of small exoplanets like the Earth is subject to many difficulties, in particular those introduced by the intrinsic variation of the star which can be confused with the presence of a planet. An international team of astronomers and engineers, led by scientist from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and member of PlanetS, has […]

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First detection of Helium in an exoatmosphere

First detection of Helium in an exoatmosphere

For the first time, an international team of astronomers including members of PlanetS has detected helium in an exoplanet’s atmosphere. Early theoretical models predicted helium to be among the most readily-detectable species in the atmospheres of exoplanets, especially in extended and escaping atmospheres. However, searches for helium have been unsuccessful until now. By measuring the […]

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Orbital mayhem around a red dwarf

Orbital mayhem around a red dwarf

Astronomers members of PlanetS, discovered that the GJ436b, nicknamed “the comet-like exoplanet” because it evaporates like a comet, follows a very special elliptical orbit over the poles of its star. In the collective imagination, planets of a solar system all circle around their star, in the same plane that is also the equatorial plane of […]

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PlanetS researchers on Euronews

PlanetS researchers on Euronews

The multilingual news channel Euronews visited the Observatory of Geneva and reports in the new edition of its programme called Space about “Hunting earth-like exoplanets”. Have a look: http://www.euronews.com/2017/01/26/hunting-earth-like-exoplanets http://www.euronews.com/programs/space  

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The atmosphere of Proximab

The atmosphere of Proximab

In an article published in A&A early January, a team led by Christophe Lovis of PlanetS shows that it would be possible to analyze the atmosphere of Proximab, the exoplanet closest to Earth, using existing instruments. The discovery last August of Proximab, the planet orbiting the closest star to the Sun, had caused a sensation. […]

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A new building for planets hunters

A new building for planets hunters

Astrotech, the new building of the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Geneva was inaugurated on Monday 27th June, in the presence of the local authorities of Versoix, and Geneva and a representative of the federal authorities. Over 80 responded to the University invitation to attend the inauguration together with a large part of the […]

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