Group on Active Stars & Systems
Catania Astrophysical Observatory
Launched on Dec 27, 15:23 CET -- 300 days in Orbit
COROT is a space experiment (mainly supported by CNES) dedicated to ultra-high precision, wide-field, relative stellar photometry, for very long continuous observing runs on the same field of view. It has two main scientific programs working simultaneously on adjacent regions of the sky: 1) asteroseismology, and 2) search for extrasolar planets. Scientists of our group have been involved in the monitoring of the primary targets for the asteroseismology program with the 91-cm telescope of the Catania Observatory to evaluate the level of magnetic activity in these stars and their rotation periods by analyzing high-resolution spectra (R~20,000) in the region of Ca II H & K lines. In the mean time, theoretical work has been carried out by people of our group in collaboration with colleagues at the Laboratoire de Astrophysique de Marseille (France) to address the influence of stellar activity on the detection of planetary transits. Moreover a contribution to the selection of possible COROT additional programs in the field of stellar activity has been given.
GAIA click on the logo to visit the official GAIA page at ESA
Gaia is an ESA mission devoted to provide a three-dimensional map
of our Galaxy, the Milky Way. Gaia will provide unprecedented
positional and radial velocity measurements with the accuracies
needed to produce a stereoscopic and kinematic census of about one
billion stars in our Galaxy and throughout the Local Group. This
amounts to about 1 per cent of the Galactic stellar population.
Combined with astrophysical information for each star, provided by
on-board multi-colour photometry, these data will have the precision
necessary to quantify the early formation, and subsequent dynamical,
chemical and star formation evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy.
a) indicators of chromospheric activity (the Ca IR triplet):
Some of these topics would benefit from an analysis of
simultaneous spectroscopic and photometric data.
PLATO (PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars) is a proposal submitted in response to the ESA Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 announcement of opportunity. Its objective is to detect and characterize exoplanets by means of their transit signature in front of a very large sample of bright stars, and measure the seismic oscillations of the parent stars orbited by these planets in order to understand the properties of the exoplanetary systems.
PLATO is the next-generation planet finder, building on the accomplishments of CoRoT and Kepler:
People involved at INAF-OACT and Catania Univ.:
WSO-UV is an international collaboration led by Russia (Roscosmos) to build a UV (100-310 nm) mission with capabilities which are presently, in the near and long term future unavailable to the world-wide astronomical community. The mission consists of a 1.7m telescope able to perform:
It will be operated like a ground-based telescope, i.e. capable to perform “real time'' operations in an orbit free of visibility constraints (L2).The imaging performance compares well with that of HST/ACS. The sensitivity of the high resolution spectrographs will exceed that of HST/STIS by a factor 10-20. In addition, WSO/UV the L2 orbit provides a significant increase in operational efficiency over low Earth orbit, and all the observing time will be available for UV astronomy. Taking all these factors into account will yield a net increase in UV productivity of a factor ~30-60, compared to HST. Furthermore, the UV-Optical capabilities of WSO/UV extend our possibilities to perform coordinated multi-wavelength campaign on selected sources, covering a spectral region, which, together with the Far/Mid-IR one, were scarcely available in the past.
The topics that can be addressed by WSO/UV concern numerous astrophysical aspects, from planetary science to cosmology. The Italian Space Agency has included WSO/UV in its Piano Aero Spaziale Nazionale, funding the UV and optical imagers on board WSO/UV: the Field Camera Unit,(FCU).
Click here for more information on the WSO-UV Implementation in Italy