Padova University
Padova University
Astronomy Department
Physics & Astronomy Dep.
Asiago Observatory
Padova Observatory
Padova Observatory

Exoplanets & Stellar Populations Group

vicolo Osservatorio 3, 35122 Padova - Italy tel. +39.049.827.8211     fax. +39.049.827.8212

PLATO 2.0 mission
PLATO (PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars) is a medium class (M3 class) mission selected on February 19th 2014 as an ESA Cosmic Vision mission, after a re-organisation of the PLATO Mission Consortium (PMC).
A detailed description of the main milestones of PLATO history can be found here.

By using 34 small telescopes, PLATO will monitor a large sample of relatively nearby stars, searching for drops in brightness due to planetary transits revealing the presence of companions which block out a fraction of the stellar light. PLATO will search for planets around up to a million stars spread over half of the sky, paying particular attention in the discover and characterisation of Earth-sized and super-Earths-sized planets in the habitable zone of their parent star – the distance from the star where liquid surface water could exist.
It will also investigate seismic activity in the stars, enabling a precise characterization of the host of each planet discovered, including its mass, radius and age. When coupled with ground-based radial velocity observations, PLATO's measurements will provide the planet's mass and radius, and therefore its density, supplying an indication of its composition.
More information are available on Research pages.

PMC Science Management (PSM)

The PMC Science Management (PSM) currently involves more than 500 researchers coming from 14 ESA Member States, North America, and South America. The five main research areas are:
  1. Exoplanet science
    Leader: Don Pollacco (University of Warwick, UK)
  2. Stellar science. Visit the PSM Stellar Science website.
    Leader: Marie-Jo Goupil (LESIA, Paris Observatory, France)
  3. Field and target characterisation and selection
    Leader: Giampaolo Piotto (University of Padova, Italy)
  4. Follow-up studies. Visit the PSM Follow-up website.
    Leader: Stephane Udry (Geneva Observatory, Switzerland)
  5. Complementary sciences
    Leader: Conny Aerts (University of Leuven, Belgium)
Our group is strongly involved in the preparation and exploitation of the scientific program in PLATO and, in particular, is leader of the field and target program characterisation and selection task mentioned above. The preparation of the PLATO input catalog can be strongly suppported by the complete all-sky catalog of solar-type dwarfs, UCAC4-RPM catalog (Nascimbeni et al., 2016, MNRAS, 463, 4210 ).
Moreover our group is in close connection and collaboration with the technological group of Dr. Roberto Ragazzoni, at the nearby INAF-Astronomical Observatory of Padova who is responsible for the PLATO optical units.

For further information: