37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 31 Extrasolar Planets
Poster, Tuesday, September 6, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Recital Room

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[31.01] Exoplanet Detection With RoboNet

M. J. Burgdorf (Liverpool JMU), RoboNet Microlens Planet Search Team

RoboNet-1.0 is a prototype global network of three large (2m) robotic telescopes, placed in La Palma (Canary Islands), Maui (Hawaii), and Siding Spring (Australia). The detection of cool extra-solar planets by optimised robotic monitoring of Galactic microlens events is one of the two core elements of its scientific programme - observations of Gamma Ray Bursts is the other. Two dozen microlensing events have been observed in regular intervals already. The light curve of one particular event, OGLE 2005-BLG-71, that was measured by several groups including RoboNet, turned out to have an anomaly caused by an extrasolar planet. This was only the second detection of such an object with the microlensing technique.

Current development work uses e-science to create a fully automated chain from event monitoring over the detection of anomalies to the triggering of follow-up observations. In order to fully exploit the potential of such a network for detecting exoplanets it will be necessary to complement the existing RoboNet with additional telescopes in the Southern hemisphere.

Funding for RoboNet-1.0 was approved in April 2004 by PPARC's Science Committee and the project commenced in earnest in August 2004.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.