Europlanet Telescope Network
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Europlanet Telescope Network

**Europlanet Telescope Network – Rolling call for submissions now open.**

Ground-based observations play a significant role in the study of planets, asteroids and comets. Many planetary science targets are relatively nearby and bright compared to other astronomical targets, but the scientific outcome of their observation requires either long-term monitoring (e.g., atmospheric activity of solar system planets) or very precise timing (e.g. asteroids and comets). This combination of characteristics produces a unique set of challenges, as it matters both where on the Earth one observes from and precisely when. However, relatively small telescopes can produce first-rate science.

Europlanet 2024 RI will organise the cooperation of a network of small telescopes to facilitate and coordinate observation campaigns related to different planetary science topics. It will alert appropriate facilities of opportunities, and ensure that suitably trained observers are available. 

The main objectives of the Networking Activity NA2 Work Package of Europlanet 2024 RI are:

  • To coordinate a network of small telescope facilities (telescope diameters around 0.5-1.2 m) to react fast and effectively to observational alerts.
  • To coordinate professional and amateur long-term observational campaigns and time-constrained observations of Solar System objects, widening the participation of amateur astronomers in planetary science.
  • To train and support amateur astronomers and integrate them into the planetary science community.
  • To ensure that observational data of small telescope facilities is made available via VESPA.
  • To embed the network in the activities of Europlanet 2024 RI, the Europlanet Society and the wider planetary sciences community in Europe and beyond.

NA2 Call for Observations

NA2 provides the opportunity for funding observation nights at telescopes within Europlanet Telescope Network reimbursing travel, accommodation and per diem of the observer, and service costs of the observatory.

The NA2 Call for Observations is now open.

The NA2 Science Advisory Panel (SAP) will recommend funding of the submitted applications on a bi-monthly basis through an anonymized application system. The NA2 Review Board will grant applications based on the recommendation of the SAP and by taking into account socio-economic measures. All further information on the call can be found on the call webpage. A list of all successful proposals can be found here.

Information on all participating observatories can also be found through this comprehensive telescope table.

If your observatory would like to participate in the Europlanet Telescope network please contact the Coordinator: Günter Kargl, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Institut für Weltraumforschung, Schmiedlstraße 6, 8042 Graz, Austria, na2@europlanet-society.org

Note that the Faulkes Telescope Project’s 2m, 1m and 0.4m facilities (accessing the Las Cumbres Observatory, LCO, global network as part of the Europlanet Telescope Network) can be accessed free of charge by educational groups (including schools) who wish to undertake astronomical observations. Please contact fraser.lewis@faulkes-telescope.com for further information and guidance on how to apply for access for educational programmes as part of the Europlanet Telescope Network.

Please also note that there is an independent access programme operated by OPTICON which offers a different telescope suite and which operates in parallel to the Europlanet Telescope Network (more information).

NA2 News

Observing the DART impact with DART – OPTiK Campaign in Kenya
Fireball. Credit: H. Edin
Updated Draft Programme Published for Workshop #3 on Fireballs and their Detection
Pro-Am Comet Community (Hybrid) Workshop – Announcement of Draft Programme
Europlanet workshop for amateur and professional astronomers.
Pro-Am Comet Community (Hybrid) Workshop
Europlanet Telescope Network Science Workshop
Fireball. Credit: H. Edin
Virtual Fireballs Workshop #2 on Fireball Databases, Lunar Impact Flashes and Machine Learning
Jupiter GRS and STB outreach. Credit Christopher Go.
Observational alerts issued for NA2
All Eyes on Mars
First successful observations at the Europlanet Telescope Network
Europlanet 2024 RI Kick Off Meeting - TA Splinter Meeti
Highlights from Year 1 of Europlanet 2024 RI

NA2 Science Advisory Panel:

Colin Snodgrass (head), Alessandra Migliorini (deputy), Ricardo Hueso, Oleksandra Ivanova, Detlef Koschny, Monika Lendl, Anna Marciniak, Josselin Desmars

NA2 Review Board

Günter Kargl (head), Grazina Tautvaisiene, Sarunas Mikolaitis

Contact:

Coordinator: Günter Kargl, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Institut für Weltraumforschung, Schmiedlstraße 6, 8042 Graz, Austria, na2@europlanet-society.org

Europlanet 2024 RI Coordination of Ground-based Observations is led by IWF-OEAW with input from the University of Edinburgh, UPV/EHU, Vilnius University, UAM and the Observatoire de Paris.

Infographics and poster:

Download infographics and poster

Granted NA2 Call Proposals

Reducing the selection effects in asteroid spins, shapes, and thermal parameters
PI: Anna Marciniak, Astronomical Observatory Institute, A. Mickiewicz University, Poland
Observatory: Moletai Astronomical Observatory, Lithuania
Category: Asteroids
Date of Acceptance: December 15, 2020
Public Summary: Asteroids are like fossils, because they keep the record of the Solar System history. Our project targets asteroids, that have been previously neglected: rarely chosen for observations, so the selection effects appeared. We aim to decrease these effects to find out how asteroids rotate, how big they are, and what are the properties of their surfaces.

Characterization of V-type asteroids outside the dynamical Vesta family
PI: Dagmara Oszkiewicz, Astronomical Observatory Institute, A. Mickiewicz University, Poland
Observatory: Chuguev Observatory, Ukraine
Category: Asteroids
Date of Acceptance: December 15, 2020
Public Summary: Asteroid (4) Vesta (and its fragments – the Vesta family) is considered a fossil planetesimal that survived the turbulent evolution of the Solar System. In theory there should have been up to 100 such planetesimals (planet embryos) in the past. In this study we plan to verify the presence of remnants of those objects in the inner part of the Main Asteroid Belt.

Precise asteroid volumes from Gaia mission and ground-based observations (Part 1 + 2)
PI: Magdalena Polinska, Astronomical Observatory Institute, A. Mickiewicz University, Poland
Observatory: Observatorio del Teide, Spain; Tartu Observatory, Estonia
Category: Asteroids
Date of Acceptance: December 15, 2020
Public Summary: The main aim of the project is to determine precise values and its uncertainty of physical parameters of asteroid samples. This can be done by combining very accurate absolute photometric measurements of the Gaia space mission accompanied by relative photometric lightcurves collected from ground-based telescopes.

High-precision photometry of known exoplanets and planetary candidates
PI: Eugene Sokov, Pulkovo Observatory of RAS, Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia
Observatory: Moletai Astronomical Observatory, Lithuania
Category: Exoplanets
Date of Acceptance: February 11, 2021
Public Summary: We plan to use 1.65m telescope of Moletai Astronomical Observatory for high-precision photometry of known exoplanets and planetary candidates.

Variable Nebulae: Understanding the Protostar Environment
PI: Grant Privett, British Astronomical Association (BAA), UK
Observatory: Beacon Observatory, UK
Category: Other
Date of Acceptance: February 11, 2021
Public Summary: Monitoring of 4 nebulae associated with protostars for changes arising from the conditions present within a few AU of the star and its associated accretion disc. The aim is to better assess the probable source of variation in three objects and refine our previous study (JBAA, V129,5,2019) of one object by the use of deeper imaging, a consistent imaging system and colour information. The objects studied range from the poorly studied (Gyulbudaghian’s Nebula) to the recently discovered (Borisov’s Nebula – ATel #13832 ).

Photometric follow-up observations of transiting extrasolar planets and related science
PI: Tobias Cornelius Hince, Nicolai Copernicus University, Poland
Observatory: 1.5 m Danish Telescope, ESO, Chile
Category: Exoplanets
Date of Acceptance: July 21, 2021
Public Summary: The study of transiting planets contributes partially to answer the question whether life exists elsewhere in the Milky Way. Obtaining high-precision photometry of a transiting planet enables a detailed characterisation of the planet itself and allows for the possible detection of additional planets.

High-resolution spectroscopic follow-up of known exoplanet-hosts and candidates
PI: Edita Stonkute, Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy, Vilnius University, Lithuania
Observatory: Moletai Astronomical Observatory, Lithuania
Category: Exoplanets
Date of Acceptance: October 5, 2021
Public Summary: Using high-resolution spectroscopy, this project aims to homogeneously determine the precise atmospheric parameters and extended chemical composition (including Li, C/O and Mg/Si abundance ratios, and other chemical elements) for stars with confirmed or inferred planets providing constrains and data for the planet formation models, particularly in respect to the star-planet connection.

Observation of Corot-10b and WASP-156b exoplanet transits to help preparing Ariel Mission 
PI: Mercedes Correa, Agrupació Astronòmica de Sabadell, Spain
Observatory: Observatorio del Teide, Spain
Category: Exoplanets
Date of Acceptance: October 5, 2021
Public Summary: The ARIEL mission (launch in 2029) will study the atmospheres of a huge number of exoplanets using high resolution transit spectroscopy. To better plan this mission, it is necessary to know precisely the transit times of the sample of exoplanets. We will observe and refine transit times for high priority targets like CoRoT-10b and WASP-156b.

High-resolution spectroscopic follow-up of known exoplanet-hosts and candidates: star-planet connection
PI: Arnas Drazdauskas and Edita Stonkute, Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy, Vilnius University, Lithuania
Observatory: Moletai Astronomical Observatory, Lithuania
Category: Exoplanets
Date of Acceptance: April 8, 2022
Public Summary: Using high-resolution spectroscopy, this project aims to homogeneously determine the precise atmospheric parameters and extended chemical composition (including Li, C/O and Mg/Si abundance ratios, and a wide range of other chemical elements) for stars with confirmed and/or candidate planets providing constrains and data for the planet formation models, particularly in respect to the star-planet connection.

Revisiting past binary and planetary microlensing events to resolve microlensing degeneracy
PI: Sedighe Sajadian, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran
Observatory: 1.5 m Danish Telescope, ESO, Chile
Category: Exoplanets
Date of Acceptance: April 8, 2022
Public Summary: Microlensing (ML) is the only known method to identify exoplanets similar to all the planets in our own Solar system (including Venus-Earth-Mars mass planets in Venus-Earth-Mars sized orbits), and so excellently complements other exoplanet detection methods, and is well suited to answer questions such as “is our Solar system unique?”. The discovering observations will, however, usually only allow assigning a relative probability of two or more competing models of the discovered planet (so-called degeneracy). A unique description of the nature of the planet requires additional high spatial resolution observations performed typically a decade after the discovery, when the microlensing source and lens have moved sufficiently far away from one another on the sky to be spatially resolved. We propose here the first systematic follow-up observation sequences of the most well suited exoplanet microlensing systems discovered 10 or more years ago. Such observations can best be performed from medium-sized telescopes equipped with ultra-high resolution camera systems (so-called lucky imaging techniques), because a combination of high resolution and large observing time is required.

Rotational lightcurves, absolute magnitudes, and accurate astrometry of selected occultation-relevant trans-Neptunian objects
PI: Mike Kretlov, Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (IAA-CSIC), Granada, Spain
Observatory: 1.5 m Danish Telescope, ESO, Chile
Category: Stellar ocultations
Date of Acceptance: April 8, 2022
Public Summary: Centaurs and trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) are considered to be among the most pristine members of our Solar system and carry plenty of information on the physical and dynamical processes that shaped our Solar system. Because they are faint, only a small fraction of the currently known TNOs are studied in some detail. Through the use of stellar occultations, we have made significant progress in the determination of accurate physical properties of these objects, but often the occultation results need other supporting
observations to derive rotational periods, amplitude of variability and accurate absolute magnitudes, which are key for a proper interpretation of the results, like the rotational phase at occultation time.

Observation of WASP-186b exoplanet transits to help preparing ARIEL mission
PI: Mercedes Correa, Agrupació Astronòmica de Sabadell, Spain
Observatory: IAC80, Teide Observatory, Spain
Category: Exoplanets
Date of Acceptance: June 18, 2022
Public Summary: The ARIEL mission (launch in 2029) will study the atmospheres of a huge number of exoplanets using high resolution transit spectroscopy. To better plan this mission, it is necessary to know precisely the transit times of the sample of exoplanets. We will observe and refine transit times for WASP-186b which is a high priority target.

Observation of WASP-148b exoplanet transits to help preparing ARIEL mission
PI: Antelm Ginard, Agrupació Astronòmica de Sabadell, Spain Observatory: IAC80, Teide Observatory, Spain
Category: Exoplanets
Date of Acceptance: June 18, 2022
Public Summary: The ARIEL mission (launch in 2029) will study the atmospheres of a huge number of exoplanets using high resolution transit spectroscopy. To better plan this mission, it is necessary to know precisely the transit times of the sample of exoplanets. We will observe and refine transit times for high priority targets like WASP-148b.

Eclipsing binary stars as an extra tool in asteroseismology
PI: Erika Pakstiene, Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy, Vilnius University, Lithuania
Observatory: 1.65-m telescope, Moletai Astronomical Observatory, Lithuania
Category: Other
Date of acceptance: June 22, 2022
Public summary: We will use a high-resolution VUES spectrograph at the Moletai Astronomical Observatory with the 1.65-m telescope in the spectral resolution mode of 30000 for observations of radial velocity curves of four eclipsing binary systems, that contain at least one variable component. They can improve asteroseismic models of stars which are in instability strip of δ Scuti and γ Doradus type star.

Polish-Lithuanian Black Hole hunt
PI: Justas Zdanavicius,Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy, Vilnius University, Lithuania
Observatory: 35/51-cm telescope, Moletai Astronomical Observatory, Lithuania
Category: Other
Date of acceptance: June 23, 2022
Public summary: We will observe candidates to the gravitational microlensing phenomenon, detected by Gaia towards the Disk of our Galaxy. We expect at least a few of non-interactive black holes of the Milky Way to be discovered. It will allow us to probe the demography of black holes in its entire mass spectrum, as there are no known non-interactive black holes in the Galaxy yet.

Observation of MASCARA-1b exoplanet transits to help preparing ARIEL mission
PI: Josep M. Vilalta, Agrupació Astronòmica de Sabadell, Spain
Observatory: IAC80, Teide Observatory, Spain
Category: Exoplanets
Date of Acceptance: June 28, 2022
Public Summary:MASCARA 1b is a hot Jupiter orbiting a rapid rotating (v sin i > 100 km/s) and bright star with mV = 8.3 mag, with a period of 2.148780 days.

Observation of WASP59b exoplanet transits to help preparing ARIEL mission
PI: Florence Libotte, Agrupació Astronòmica de Sabadell, Spain
Observatory: IAC80, Teide Observatory, Spain
Category: Exoplanets
Date of Acceptance: July 2, 2022
Public Summary:The ARIEL mission (launch in 2029) will study the atmospheres of a huge number of exoplanets using high resolution transit spectroscopy. To better plan this mission, it is necessary to know precisely the transit times of the sample of exoplanets. We will observe and refine transit times for WASP-59b which is a high priority target.


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