Garik Israelian

Dates of the visit: 27/07/2012 to 22/09/2012.

Research line: Exoplanets and Solar System

Institution visited: Byurakan Observatory (Armenia).

Dr. Israelian collaborated with Dr. Areg Mickaelian at the Byurakan Observatory in order to start a long term observational compaign to search planets around young stars and giant stars.

Currently Dr. Israelian is a staff researcher at the IAC.

Dr. Israelian has published more than 180 scientific articles on subjects ranging from the discovery of extrasolar planets to the properties of black holes. Nominated by Swiss Academy of Sciences, Dr. Israelian, together with Dr. Michel Mayor and Dr. Nuno Santos was awarded the prestigious 2010 Victor Ambartsumian International Prize for Astrophysics, Physics or Mathematics.

The observatory of Byurakan has 2.6 meter telescope which has been polished recently and is ready to receive a new instrument. Dr. Israelian and Dr. Areg Mickaelian are working on the project of a new high resolution spectrograph dedicated to radial velocity survey of planets around young stars as well as evolved, giant stars. Stellar activity, such as starspots, can induce radial velocity (RV) variations that can mask or even mimic the RV signature of orbiting exoplanets. For this reason RV exoplanet surveys have been unsuccessful when searching for planets around young, active stars and are therefore failing to explore an important regime which can help to reveal how planets form and migrate.

In the meantime, a program for observations of transients around giant stars to be carried out in Byurakan Observatory is being prepared. These kind of projects demand long term monitoring which is possible at this observatory because the telescope is owned by this observatory.

As a result of this collaboration, we begin a research of planets around several young stars using the telescopes in Canary Islands and Chile. We have prepared a proposal, list of important and interesting targets. A PhD student from Byurakan has been sent to Potsdam in order to learn from the group of Prof. Klaus Strassmeier to apply the doppler imaging technique to separate stellar spots form exoplanets.

Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. C/ Via Láctea s/n 38200, La Laguna. Canary Islands. Spain.
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