A scientific reward FROM THE FONDATION CHARLES DEFFOREY for a Wolf’s member

The 19th of May 2020, the « Fondation Charles Defforey-Institut de France » gave the winners’ names of their Great Scientifique Price. This year theme was « the exoplanets ». In the rewarded team : Thierry Fusco, WOLF main Investigator.

Thierry Fusco – WOLF’s Principal investigator

The verdict came : it’s a project called SPHERE, a new instrument in the exoplanet imagery, which get the gold medal of the contest. That research gathered six scientists in the domain from all over the country.

Get more details on the winning team.

By incorporing the SAXO adaptive optic system in SHPERE, T.Fusco, as a represantant of the ONERA, reinforces since five years one of the VLT of the European Southern Observatory in Chili. The instrument can detect giants exoplanets gravitating toward stars near the Solar System. Those planets have a brightness extemly low compare to their stars, but still can be find by SHPERE.

Among its achievements, we can cite the identification of news giant exoplanets, the study of their atmosphere, and discoveries on circumstellar discs where the planets are gathering.

The project is not ending, and is a step toward larger plans, including the developmment of the search by imagery of new Earth-like exoplanets. It matches with the objectives of the WOLF project, and this price shows promises for the AO.

Video of SPHERE instrument in action. It gathers all the light from a star into one single point, before introducing a mask on it to avoid swamping the fainter nearby objects.
Credit:ESO/L. Calçada/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org)

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