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ESPRESSO on VLT: An Instrument for Exoplanet Research

  • Jonay I. González HernándezEmail author
  • Francesco Pepe
  • Paolo Molaro
  • Nuno C. Santos
Reference work entry

Abstract

ESPRESSO (Echelle SPectrograph for Rocky Exoplanets and Stable Spectroscopic Observations) is a VLT ultra-stable high-resolution spectrograph that will be installed in Paranal Observatory in Chile at the end of 2017 and offered to the community by 2018. The spectrograph will be located at the Combined Coudé Laboratory of the VLT and will be able to operate with one or (simultaneously) several of the four 8.2 m Unit Telescopes (UT) through four optical Coudé trains. Combining efficiency and extreme spectroscopic precision, ESPRESSO is expected to gaining about two magnitudes with respect to its predecessor HARPS. We aim at improving the instrumental radial velocity precision to reach the 10 cm s−1 level, thus opening the possibility to explore new frontiers in the search for Earth-mass exoplanets in the habitable zone of quiet, nearby G to M dwarfs. ESPRESSO will be certainly an important development step toward high-precision ultra-stable spectrographs on the next generation of giant telescopes such as the E-ELT.

Keywords

Instrumentation: spectrographs Planetary systems Techniques: spectroscopic 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The ESPRESSO project is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation program FLARE, Italian Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC, Spain), Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço/Universidade de Porto and Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal), and European Southern Observatory (ESO). J.I.G.H. acknowledges financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) under the 2013 Ramón y Cajal programme MINECO RYC-2013-14875, and the Spanish ministry project MINECO AYA2014-56359-P. N.C.S. acknowledges the support by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT, Portugal) through the research grant through national funds and by FEDER through COMPETE2020 by grants UID/FIS/04434/2013&POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007672 and PTDC/FIS-AST/1526/2014&POCI-01-0145-FEDER-016886, as well as through Investigador FCT contract nr. IF/00169/2012/CP0150/CT0002. The authors wish to acknowledge the exceptional work and enthusiasm delivered by all the members of the ESPRESSO team and warmly thank them for significantly contributing to the successful completion of the project.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonay I. González Hernández
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Francesco Pepe
    • 3
  • Paolo Molaro
    • 4
  • Nuno C. Santos
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Departamento de AstrofísicaUniversidad de La Laguna (ULL)La LagunaSpain
  2. 2.Instituto de Astrofísica de CanariasLa LagunaSpain
  3. 3.Département d’AstronomieObservatoire de l’Université de GenéveVersoixSwitzerland
  4. 4.INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di TriesteTriesteItaly
  5. 5.Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do EspaçoUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  6. 6.Departamento de Física e Astronomia, Faculdade de CiênciasUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal

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