AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 69. Planet Searchs and Dwarfs
Display, Thursday, June 7, 2001, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[69.03] The Galactic Exoplanet Survey Telescope

D. Bennett (Notre Dame), GEST Collaboration

The Galactic Exoplanet Survey Telescope (GEST) is a comprehensive extra-solar planet search mission which will employ the gravitational microlensing technique to detect planets with masses as low as that of Mars at all separations > 0.5AU. GEST is, therefore, the only proposed mission (with the possible exception of TPF) that will be sensitive to analogs of all the Solar System's planets except for Mercury and Pluto. GEST will measure the planetary mass function and separation distribution of the detected extra-solar planets, and it will test theories of planet formation by measuring the abundance of free-floating planets which may have become unbound from their host stars during the planetary system formation process. The GEST observations, supplemented with follow-up IR observations with large ground based telescopes, will be able to identify the lens star for nearly half of the stars which are found to host planets-including virtually all of the host stars in the F, G, and K spectral classes.

The GEST mission consists of a ~1.5m telescope with a 2 square degree field of view which will monitor the Galactic bulge continuously for 8 months per year in its gravitational microlensing planet detection survey. This survey will also be sensitive to giant planets at separations of 0-20AU via transits.

During the 4 months per year when the Galactic bulge is not visible, GEST will conduct a deep, wide-angle deep lensing survey, a high redshift supernova survey, a search sensitive to ~100,000 Kuiper Belt Objects, and a guest observer program.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://bustard.phys.nd.edu/GEST/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

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