discovering and studying new worlds to consolidate our understanding of planets and habitats. 

ARTEMIS

ARTEMIS Facts:

- Named to pay tribute to the Greek goddess Artemis.

- In the SPECULOOS network, which consists of four telescopes which are scanning the sky in the southern hemisphere from the Paranal Observtory (Chile) and which are named after the four Galilean moons of Jupiter: IO, EUROPA, GANYMEDE and CALLISTO. The SPECULOOS project also has another 1m telescope (SAINT-EX) sited in Mexico, and two 60 cm prototypes called TRAPPIST,  sited respectively in Chile and Morocco.

- ARTEMIS is a 1m diameter telescope in a building 4m high. It was built by the German company ASTELCO. Its detectors are very sensitive to the infrared wavelengths which are emitted by ultra-cool stars.

With a new telescope situated on a scenic plateau at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in Tenerife, Spain, planetary scientists now have an added way to search for Earth-sized exoplanets. Artemis, the first ground-based telescope of the SPECULOOS Northern Observatory (SNO), joins a network of 1-meter-class robotic telescopes as part of the SPECULOOS project (Search for habitable Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars), which is led by Michael Gillon at the University of Liège in Belgium and carried out in collaboration with MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) and several other institutions and financial supporters.

 

The other network telescopes that make up the SPECULOOS Southern Observatory — named Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto after the four Galilean moons of Jupiter — are up and running at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, busily scanning the skies for exoplanets in the Southern Hemisphere. Together, these SPECULOOS telescopes will look for terrestrial planets circling very faint, nearby stars, called ultra-cool dwarfs, and the new Artemis telescope will allow the research group to expand the search into the Northern Hemisphere skies.

 

Artemis was funded by the generous support of MIT donors Peter A. Gilman, the Heising-Simons Foundation, and Colin and Leslie Masson, with additional support from the Ministry of Higher Education of the Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles, and the Balzan Foundation.

 

Video credits: Daniel Lòpez, editor, producer, time lapse photography; drone photography courtesy ASTELCO, tau-tec GmbH/Michael Ruder; additional material courtesy NASA/JPL, ESO

Related Papers:

de Wit, J., Wakeford H., Gillon, M., Lewis N., Valenti, J., et al. (2016), Nature, 537, 69, Press Release 

“A combined transmission spectrum of the Earth-sized exoplanets TRAPPIST-1 b and c”

Gillon, M., Jehin, E., Lederer, S., Delrez, L., de Wit, J., et al. (2016),  Nature, 533, 221. Press Release

“Temperate Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star”

Gillon, M., Triaud, A., Demory, B.-O., …, de Wit, J., et al.  (2017),  Nature, 542, 456. Press Release

“Seven temperate terrestrial planets around the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1”

de Wit, J., Wakeford H., Lewis N., et al. (2018), Nature Astronomy, 2, 214. Press Release

“Atmospheric Reconnaissance of TRAPPIST-1’s Habitable-zone Earth-sized Exoplanets”

Delrez, L., Gillon, M., Queloz, D., Demory, B.-O., Almleaky, Y., de Wit, J., et al. (2018), Proceedings of SPIE

“SPECULOOS: a network of robotic telescopes to hunt for terrestrial planets around the nearest ultracool dwarfs”