Exoplanet detection via microlensing with RoboNet-1.0

M. J. Burgdorf, D. M. Bramich, M. Dominik, M. F. Bode, K. D. Horne, I. A. Steele, N. Rattenbury, Y. Tsapras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)


RoboNet-1.0 is a prototype global network of three two-meter robotic telescopes, placed in La Palma (Canary Islands), Maui (Hawaii), and Siding Spring (Australia). In April 2004, funding for RoboNet-1.0 until July 2007 was approved by PPARC's Science Committee, and the project commenced in earnest in August 2004. The search for cool extra-solar planets by optimised robotic monitoring of Galactic microlensing events is one of the two core elements of its scientific programme-observations of gamma-ray bursts is the other. During the 2005 observing season, light curves of more than 60 microlensing events have been sampled at regular intervals. One particular event, OGLE-2005-BLG-71, showed an anomaly caused by an extrasolar planet, which constituted the second detection of a planet by microlensing. As a by-product, our dense monitoring during caustic crossing events can resolve the brightness profile of observed source stars, providing an observational test of stellar atmosphere models. Current development work uses e-science to create a fully automated chain linking event monitoring to the detection of anomalies in the microlensing lightcurves that could be indications of planetary companions and on to the triggering of follow-up observations. In order to fully exploit the potential of such a network for detecting exoplanets, it will be necessary to complement the existing RoboNet with additional telescopes in the southern hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-588
Number of pages7
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2007


  • Experimental techniques
  • Extrasolar planets
  • Instrumentation photometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Burgdorf, M. J., Bramich, D. M., Dominik, M., Bode, M. F., Horne, K. D., Steele, I. A., Rattenbury, N., & Tsapras, Y. (2007). Exoplanet detection via microlensing with RoboNet-1.0. Planetary and Space Science, 55(5), 582-588. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2006.04.036