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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 started 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.

From December 2015 throughout August 2019, we observed about 200 nearby (< 200 pc) young (< few 100 Myrs) stars with masses between 0.5 and 5 times the mass of the Sun, which are still surrounded by either protoplanetary or debris disks. Although the survey partially overlapps with other state-of-the-art large exoplanet imaging surveys, like with SPHERE/SHINE or GPIES, it covers a different parameter range by exploiting the L-band sensitivity of NaCo to lower-mass and older planets.

editor of this page: Ralf Launhardt

Page last modified on 09.09.2020