a project to monitor the ephemerides of transiting exoplanets
by the ARIEL Ephemerides Working Group
The ARIEL Space mission
ARIEL, the Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey, was selected as the fourth medium-class mission
in ESA’s Cosmic Vision programme!
During its 4-year mission, ARIEL will study what exoplanets are made of, how they
formed and how they evolved, by surveying a diverse sample of about 1000 extrasolar planets, simultaneously in visible
and infrared wavelengths. It is the first mission dedicated to measuring the chemical composition and thermal structures
of hundreds of transiting exoplanets, enabling planetary science far beyond the boundaries of the Solar System.
ARIEL will observe thousands of transits of known exoplanets to obtain their spectra and characterise their chemical consistency.
For this technique to be as efficient as possible and to organise a large-scale survey, we need to have a good knowledge of each
exoplanet's expected transit time and also monitor the stellar variability of its host star. The ARIEL Ephemerides
Working Group is responsible for keeping this information up-to-date and this is where small and
medium-scale telescopes can contribute significantly and make a difference, through the ExoClock project.
If you have a telescope and a CCD or CMOS camera you are ready to start!
We strongly believe that everyone can contribute to real research and become part of a bigger project, such as a space
mission. In the ExoClock project we have created special tools and educational guides for any observatory that would
like to support the future of exoplanets. We can all collaborate towards answering the most intriguing questions of
science and society: How do planets form? Are there other planets like the Earth? Could they host life? Is there any
other type of life?
You will need to set up an observatory profile (or more than one!), with your equipment and geographical coordinates.
Then we will give you a personalised schedule to follow the transits that fit best to your equipment and your location.
Observations uploaded to ExoClock are reviewed by the ExoClock Review Team and a preliminary result is immediately
published on the this website. Once per year we review the data collectively and publish the results to a peer-reviewed journal.
Every publication is accompanied by a Data Release with all the raw data and the final analysis results.
Of course not! The ExoClock community counts more than 800 members!
As part of this community you will be receiving updates through our monthly newsletters, our monthly virtual meetings
and our annual hybrid meetings. Finally, you will have the chance to interact with our
community and our team for any questions you might have and get feedback on your observations.