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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto
The Kepler Space Mission, as seen from Haute-Provence Observatory

Alexandre Santerne
Observatoire Astronomique Marseille-Provence

The Kepler space mission, launched by NASA in March 2009, permit a great leap forward into the understanding of extrasolar planetary systems. By observing more than 156000 stars since 2009, this telescope already discovered more than 2300 transiting planet candidates.
Those candidates have an expected radii down to the size of the Earth or an orbital separation up to the habitable zone of their host star. I will present a brief review of Kepler results and discuss the difficulties of ground-based follow-up needed to validate and characterize those candidates. I will specially focus on the results based on our observations with the SOPHIE spectrograph at Haute-Provence Observatory (France) since mid-2010 that permit us to characterize more than 15 Kepler planets and brown dwarfs, and to measure the false positive rate of 35% for giant close-in planets.

6 September 2012, 13:30

Centro de Astrofísica
Rua das Estrelas
4150-762 Porto

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) is a new but long anticipated research infrastructure with a national dimension. It embodies a bold but feasible vision for the development of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal, taking full advantage and fully realizing the potential created by the national membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). IA resulted from the merging the two most prominent research units in the field in Portugal: the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) and the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Lisbon (CAAUL). It currently hosts more than two-thirds of all active researchers working in Space Sciences in Portugal, and is responsible for an even greater fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in the area of Space Sciences. This is the scientific area with the highest relative impact factor (1.65 times above the international average) and the field with the highest average number of citations per article for Portugal.

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