Project Solaris


Owned and operated by the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center in Torun, Poland, a branch of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Solaris Telescope is a 20 inch Ritchey Chretien system that is being used to look for planets around eclipsing binary stars using precision photometry. 

Project Solaris is based at three independent locations across the southern hemisphere, in Australia, Argentina, and South Africa. The network of telescopes consists of a total of four Astro System Austria (ASA) professional instruments: three 500mm ASA Ritchey-Chretien f/15 telescopes and one 500mm Cassegrain f/9. The telescopes are mounted on ASA DDM160 German mounts using direct drives and high precision encoder technology for unrivaled tracking performance, and pointing accuracy and speed. The telescopes can track freely through 355 degrees without the need to flip while passing the meridian.

Over a period of four years, Project Solaris will be engaged in a quest to discover extra-solar planets orbiting double stars by employing a new method referred to as eclipse timing. Project Solaris is named after the famous science fiction novel by renowned Polish novelist Stanislaw Lem, which represents the first appearance of a circumbinary planet in pop culture. 

More information can be found at the Project Solaris website.