Seminar Series

Project Minerva

Minerva, Caltech

11 Jun 2013 - 12:00

We will present the scientific motivation, observational strategy, and software design for Project Minerva: a dedicated, fully-robotic observatory for the detection of small planets in our solar neighborhood. The existence of vast populations of exoplanets throughout the galaxy as revealed by the Kepler space telescope imply the existence of planets around the stars closest to us. Project Minerva will spend every clear night surveying the closest, brightest stars most amenable to precision radial velocity measurement to detect in 3 years time 14 ± 4 new low-mass planets around our pre-selected sample of stars. Minerva will achieve this with a modular design that capitalizes on commercial and pre-existing technology and a survey designed through a detailed yield analysis. The observational program necessitates robotic operations that are currently being developed and adapted from successful robotic observatories currently in operation.

LCO Seminar Series,
6740 Cortona Dr, Suite 102,
Goleta, CA 93117