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 Research interests

In the very competitive scientific domain of extra-solar systems, during the past ten years, the team has put a lot of efforts at providing observational constraints that are needed to better understand planetary formation and evolution and further answer key questions such as: how does planetary formation occur? Where does it take place and why? What is the role of the central star in the planets formation and evolution? 

The team tackles these issues by exploring in details the various planet populations, deriving their characteristics, properties, and their evolutionary stage. It has contributed to the discovery of noteworthy planets, inflated giants or super-dense ones but also the first members of populations of planet that are absent from the Solar System: the Super-Earth planets whose radius is in the range 1 to 4 R⊕ and brown dwarfs at short orbital period. 

These results have been achieved thanks to well-recognized and complementary expertises in every aspects of the exoplanet detection: high precision radial velocity measurements, high contrast imaging techniques, and photometric transits.

In addition, the team is deeply involved in every stage of the preparation and of the scientific exploitation of the foremost ground-based and space-based facilities aiming at detecting and characterizing exoplanets systems. Members of the team have been and are still major actors in international instrumental programs, with, in some of them such as CoRoT, a leading and coordination role at an international level. The LAM was P.I. for the integration of the sub-instrument IRDIS of the SPHERE coronagraph installed at the focus of the UT3-VLT telescope. Our team is strongly involved in the characterization and exploitation of this instrument.

© LAM - Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille

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