• This artist’s impression shows how the planet inside the disc of Beta Pictoris may look. Only 12 million years old, or less than three-thousandths of the age of the Sun, Beta Pictoris is 75% more massive than our parent star. It is located about 60 light-years away towards the constellation of Pictor (the Painter) and is one of the best-known examples of a star surrounded by a dusty debris disc. Earlier observations showed a warp of the disc, a secondary inclined disc and comets falling onto the star, all indirect, but tell-tale signs that strongly suggested the presence of a massive planet. Observations done with the NACO instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in 2003, 2008 and 2009, have proven the presence of a planet around Beta Pictoris. It is located at a distance between 8 and 15 times the Earth-Sun separation — or Astronomical Units — which is about the distance Saturn is from the Sun. The planet has a mass of about nine Jupiter masses and is right mass and location to explain the observed warp in the inner parts of the disc.

    Les grandes conférences de l’iREx – 17 mai 2016

    Les conférences de l’Institut de recherche sur les exoplanètes (iREx) sont destinées à un public de tout âge et de tout niveau scientifique, intéressé à l’astronomie et l’étude des planètes. Atelier d’observation du ciel La conférence…

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    Discover iREx

    Discover our Institute through our new trailer (in french, english coming soon).

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    2016 Trottier Excellence recipients for Summer Interns

    The Institute for research on exoplanets is proud to annonce the recipients of the 2016 Trottier Excellence scholarships for Summer Interns.

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    Jonathan Gagné receives the 2016 Plaskett Medal

    The Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) awarded the J.S Plaskett Medal for 2016 to Jonathan Gagné for the best doctoral thesis in astrophysics in Canada. Jonathan Gagné completed his…

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    Les grandes conférences de l’iREx – 15 mars 2016

    Les conférences de l’Institut de recherche sur les exoplanètes (iREx) sont destinées à un public de tout âge et de tout niveau scientifique, intéressé à l’astronomie et l’étude des planètes. NOUVEAU! Atelier d’observation du ciel La conférence…

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    An exoplanet, or extrasolar planet, is an object orbiting another star than our Sun. If such definition seems deceptively simple, the current state of the research is driven by the search of a more refined and…

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    The Gemini Planet Imager celebrates one year of service

    Having started its activities in November 2014, the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) celebrates one year of observations and discoveries. Installed at the 8-meter Gemini South Observatory in Cerro Pachon (Chile), the instrument, a coronagraph/spectrograph, is specifically…

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    MIT’s Venus

    A team of researchers, including iREx collaborators, found the nearest rocky extrasolar planet from us. Although uninhabitable with a surface temperature of about 225 °C, the planet named GJ 1132b is already fascinating the astronomical community. Loïc Albert,…

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    Kepler: Half of all discoveries may be false positives

    The Kepler space observatory fruitful results, which led to the discovery of about half of all known extrasolar planets to date, are being challenged. Out of 1,030 confirmed planetary candidates since the beginning of the first…

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    Les grandes conférences de l’iREx – 19 janvier 2016

    Sommes-nous seuls dans l’Univers? (L’astrophysique en quête d’autres mondes habités) par François-René Lachapelle de l’Institut de recherche sur les exoplanètes (iREx) Mardi 19 janvier 2016 à 19h au E-310 Pavillon Roger Gaudry de l’Université de Montréal

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    2016 Trottier Excellence Grants for Summer Interns iREx

    The institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx), recently created at Université de Montréal, brings together professors, researchers and students specialized in the detection and characterization of exoplanets and low-mass objects, young stars and protoplanetary disks. They are engaged…

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    Disintegrating Asteroid is Raining Dust Onto a White Dwarf Star

    Astronomers announced today that they have spotted a large, rocky object disintegrating in its death spiral around a distant white dwarf star. The discovery also confirms a long-standing theory behind the source of white dwarf “pollution”…

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    Trottier Postdoctoral Fellowship of iREx

    The Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx), affiliated with the physics department of the University of Montreal (UdeM), invites applications for a postdoctoral fellowship in astrophysics applied to the study of exoplanets. The iREx consists of…

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    Trottier Foundation donates $1 million towards search for extraterrestrial life

    Université de Montréal researchers are determined to be the first to discover life elsewhere in the Universe, a goal backed by a $1 million in research grants donated by the Trottier Foundation. At the new Institute…

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    Professor in theoretical astrophysics applied to the study of exoplanets

    The Physics Department is seeking applications for a full-time tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor in theoretical astrophysics applied to the study of exoplanets. The expertise sought includes but is not limited to the…

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    Hot Jupiters courting baby stars ?

    Although first detected 20 years ago, hot Jupiters are still enigmatic bodies. These celestial objects are giant Jupiter-like exoplanets that orbit 20 times closer to their host stars than the Earth does to the Sun. Using…

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    Astronomers discover “young Jupiter” exoplanet

    One of the best ways to learn how our solar system evolved is to look to younger star systems in the early stages of development. Now, a team of astronomers from the Institute of research on…

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    New Supercomputer Model Shows Planet Making Waves in Nearby Debris Disk

    A new supercomputer simulation of the planet and debris disk around the nearby star Beta Pictoris reveals that the planet’s motion drives spiral waves throughout the disk, a phenomenon that greatly enhances collisions among the orbiting…

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    Astronomers develop breakthrough optical component for detecting exoplanets close to their host stars

    Astronomers from Leiden University (the Netherlands) and the University of Arizona (USA) have successfully commissioned a new type of optic that can reveal the image of an exoplanet next to its parent star. The ‘vector Apodizing…

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    Lyot 2015 : Montreal is the Internationnal Capital City of Exoplanets this summer

    On June 22-26 this year, Montreal will host “In the Spirit of Lyot 2015“, an international conference on direct detection and characterization of exoplanets and circumstellar disks.