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NACO Imaging Survey for Planets around Young stars


The NaCo survey for giant planets around nearby young stars is a large GTO project to directly image extra-solar planets in L-band on a VLT unit telescope (UT) at ESO's Paranal observatory. The survey starts in December 2015 and is carried out jointly by the three partners of the former PRIMA-DDL consortium: MPIA Heidelberg, ZAH-LSW Heidelberg, and University of Geneva.

The main scientific aim of this survey is the revelation and characterization of the theoretically hypothesized but largely unknown wide-separation (>10au) planet population that may originate from a mix of in-situ formation and early dynamical evolution.

Over the next 4-5 years, we will observe about 200-300 nearby (< 200 pc) young (< few 100 Myrs) stars with masses between 0.5 and 5 times the mass of the Sun and which still have either protoplanetary or debris disks. Although the survey will be partially overlapping with other state-of-the-art large exoplanet imaging surveys, like with SPHERE or GPI, it will cover a different parameter range by exploiting the L-band sensitivity of NaCo to lower-mass and older planets.

editor of this page: André Müller and Ralf Launhardt

Page last modified on 06.10.2015