PLATO is a transit survey mission with the goal of detecting and providing bulk characterisation for new planets and planetary systems around bright stars, including planet parameter ranges that will otherwise not be explored in the next decade. PLATO’s design is optimised to:
- Determine the bulk properties (mass, radius, mean density) of planets in a wide range of systems, including terrestrial planets in the habitable zone of solar-like stars.
- Study how planets and planet systems evolve.
- Study the typical architectures of planetary systems.
- Analyse the correlation of planet properties and their frequencies with stellar parameters (e.g. stellar metallicity, stellar type).
- Analyse the dependence of the frequency of terrestrial planets on the environment where they formed.
- Study the internal structure of stars and how it evolves with age.
- Identify good targets for spectroscopic follow-up measurements to investigate planet atmospheres.
Featured image copyright: ESA - C. Carreau