Research

Blue Planets around Red Stars is a DFG-funded cooperation (Research Unit) between five german astrophysical institutes in the field of exoplanet search. Measuring with the CARMENES spectrograph, our research interests span from M-dwarf (red) star obervations over optimization of instruments and codes to theoretical descriptions of M-type stellar activity and multiplanetary systems.

General aims of our team are to get a better understanding of (exo)planets; this, amongst other things, means how many there approximately are, what structures they have and on a more theoretical level how they are formed and evolve. As distant planets can almost not be observed directly, research is limited to indirect methods. To maximize this limit of observable exoplanets it is crucial to understand the environment and mainly the host stars under observation. While red dwarfs are relatively small and thus offer great chances for observation of planets (as these have a bigger impact on parameters like radial velocity) they also bring some disadvantages like low luminosity and high magnetic activity.
With this field being very young we are still in the early stage of firstly actually finding significant numbers of red dwarfs and especially their planets. At the same time the amount of detected exoplanets is at least exponentially increasing and new findings like Proxima b in 2016 demonstrate the level of progress.

In further detail our work is divided into seven subfields which are listed on the right side. A short overview of how these subfields cooperate may be found in the picture above.


Contacts

Prof. Dr. Ansgar Reiners
Institut für Astrophysik, F04.152
Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1
37077 Göttingen
Tel.: +49 (0)551 39 13825

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