A Pro/Am collaborative effort is taking place in 2016 between a world-wide network of amateur astronomers and a Hubble Space Telescope (HST) science team. This collaboration will supplement an HST near-infrared spectroscopy survey of 15 exoplanets with ground-based observations in the visible range.
The purpose of the Hubble survey is to characterize the atmosphere of the target planets. The purpose of the Pro/Am ground-based observations is to develop light curves in the visible spectrum of the same planetary transits that HST will be observing in order to:
- Help better refine the ephemeris of the subject planets, and
- Determine any unusual activity such as star spots or flares on the planet’s host star.
In addition to the science contributions to the HST exoplanet survey, this collaboration will provide the framework for future such collaborations between professional and amateur astronomers.
If you are an experienced deep sky imager or variable star observer and would like to participate in this Pro/Am collaboration, please contact:
Dennis M. Conti
Chair, AAVSO Exoplanet Section