ESO to hold media conference to discuss significant exoplanet finding

19 October 2009

On Monday 19 October 2009, astronomers will report at the international ESO/CAUP exoplanet conference in Porto, Portugal, on a significant discovery in the field of exoplanets, obtained with the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher, better known as HARPS, the spectrograph for ESO's 3.6-metre telescope.

ESO will host a media teleconference on Monday 19 October 2009, at 13:45 pm CEST, to be streamed online.

The teleconference participants are:

  • Stéphane Udry, Geneva Observatory, Switzerland
  • Xavier Bonfils, LAOG, Grenoble, France
  • Nuno Santos, University of Porto, Portugal

To participate in the teleconference, reporters must get accredited by contacting Henri Boffin by email ( Reporters will need to have access to a computer, with a recent version of Adobe's Macromedia Flash Player installed and an Internet connection with a minimum bandwidth requirement of 56 kB/s. Further information will be provided to the accredited reporters.

Graphics and supporting information will be shown during the teleconference, and also be available at the start of the news conference at

The ESO/CAUP conference "Towards Other Earths: perspectives and limitations in the ELT era", takes place in Porto on 19–23 October 2009. This conference discusses the new generation of instruments and telescopes that is now being conceived and built by different teams around the world to allow the discovery of other Earths, especially for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). The discoveries are simultaneously presented by Michel Mayor at the international symposium "Heirs of Galileo: Frontiers of Astronomy" in Madrid, Spain.

ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world’s biggest eye on the sky".


Henri Boffin
Garching, Germany
Phone: +49 89 3200 6222

About the Announcement